Job References

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Job References
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 8:53am

I was self employed for awhile and now with no job what would I put as references .. The companies I worked for in the past are out of business and havent really had any good references in a very long time.

Only thing I have is that I volunteer but not that much.. I could get one letter for that but that would be it.

So when one has to put a reference and there are none how does that work??


Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 4:18pm

Hi Freeatlast,

I don't know what you did when you were self-employed, but if you had clients, or other people you did business with, you could ask them for references.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 12:27pm

When you are self employed you have several options for references, the primary one being your best clients.  Even if those clients are now out of business they are still able to discuss your work ethic and professionalism.  Contact a few of them and ask them if they'd be open to being listed as a reference in your job search materials and ask about their preferred method of contact.

Volunteer work is another great source for references.  It doesn't matter how many hours you put in, how long you've helped the organization, etc.  The fact of the matter is you used your personal time to work for free for another organization and whoever supervised you or worked alongside you is going to appreciate that.  I do a ton of volunteering myself and I have never ever had trouble getting them to provide a letter of reference or accept reference phone calls.

I'm guessing you haven't always been self employed?  Have you kept in regular contact with any of your colleagues or supervisors from when you were an employee?  If so they could also be used as references. 

Are you part of any professional organizations in your industry, a college alumni association, or any professional networking associations?  Depending on your level of involvement you may be able to get one of the coordinators to be a reference for you. 

Have you taken any classes lately?  Even if they were just continuing education classes, you could still potentially use the instructor as a reference.

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