What To Do if You Don’t Have Any References To Include In Your CV

By Kibe_ke

Even if the job description does not mention, it is always good to have a list of three references with you.

This can be a real challenge especially if you are on your first job or looking for one. You don’t have a lot of work experience, since you haven’t held that many positions. So, what should you do?

In this article, find out some perfect things you can do if you have no references to provide to your potential employers.

1. Use friends or family

Do you have personal friends, relatives or neighbours who can vouch for you professionally?

A good and simple way to find your references when applying for a job is considering a closest trusted person.

According to Ms. Rebecca Nyawira, a CV writer at Corporate Staffing Services, you should be sure not to stretch the truth.

“It is good to inform them in advance that you are looking for a job and that you intend to use them as your references.

If agreed, you may ask them to write a brief recommendation letter for you that you can attach with your applications,’’ Ms. Nyawira says.

2. Reach out to your religious leaders

You can furnish your references from civic or religious leaders well known to you.

Remember the church is a trusted authority by the employers.

Luckily, they will be impressed to know that you have a pastor or leader in your professional circles.

It is even easier to ask for a reference letter from the same church.

3. Your lectures or dean of students

If you are a recent graduate or a university student, you probably have a few favourites and trusted lecturers who can be your referees.

Your lecturer or tutor has crucial information that they can convey to the employer about your suitability for the job having interacted with you in school.

Remember to also ask them if they are comfortable being your reference. Pick a couple of those who worked closely with you and can testify your great values to the employer.

This will show that you were a dedicated student and will prove to the employer that you are willing to learn.

4. Include volunteer or community work references

Have you been involved in any volunteer work? Apart from showcasing your experience, volunteering also provides you with valuable references.

Maybe you did odd jobs or got involved in community service programs. During your work, most likely you established relationships with colleagues you worked with.

Such contacts can act as career references later on when looking for a new job. So when you are updating your CV, ensure you include such beneficial contact as your referees.


It is important to know that references can play a major role in getting your next job. If you are still struggling to find beneficial referees to add on your CV, just use either of the above mentioned. Just make sure you inform them that you will be using them in your job application.

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