Approaching Referees as a Student

As a student when you apply for your first job, you may well be asked to give referees to provide a reference. Normally the requirement is for two referees to be given.

With some jobs this is split into two referees, often it is specified that one should be a personal reference and one should be a professional reference; with students' first jobs, the latter is not normally specified as some students (though less and less) will not have worked before their first proper job after university.

So how to go about getting referees, and who to pick? Generally, you will want to pick people that you get on well with, know well and of course that they also like you and won't mind doing it.

Therefore you should spend a little time working out who is the best to give you a reference.

But the one essential thing is that you ask permission - don't just write the name down on the application form and then forget, because before you know it that person might be getting a call out of the blue if your application is successful, and the last thing you want is for that to happen and for it to appear that they didn't even get asked by you!

Teachers who were particularly prevalent in your time at school would suit, but ideally pick someone in education from university - a lecturer for instance or a tutor or some other academic relation. These people are used to giving references to rarely say no.

If you need to give a professional referee, then if you have worked somewhere simply ask the manager that you worked under there. Failing this, then pick someone among your family friends who you know well who has a professional career who can instead comment that you have work-like virtues is asked rather than commenting on how you are in work itself if you have no experience.

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