Getting good referees to put on your resume is all about contacts and networking. If networking is not one of your strong points, I urge you to practice and become better at it. We as individuals cannot always do things on our own; we need support and recommendation. Essentially, that’s what living in a community is all about, unless you are a loner by nature like me (wink).
It is ideal to have two to three referees on your resume so your potential employer can find out a bit about how you work with others, and some more about your character. Some employers will require a few referees to call, while others would prefer written references from your referees, and some employers don’t need either. The question is though, where to get them from and how…
Remember I talked about networking? This is where those skills come in handy. If you have a family member or friend who is a professional, use them as a referee, or perhaps ask one of your teachers or tutors from school or university. They don’t have to be a professional, though, even if they can give you a positive character review and talk you up to your future employer, that’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Last but not least, join a club or society in your chosen field at uni. Many people are unaware of them, but rest assured you will find people with similar skills and interests, and may just nab someone who’s willing to be a referee or even write a reference for you.
It is all about getting out there, finding people you trust to give you a good talking-up, and going for those dream jobs!