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Should I Use a Friend as a Work Reference?

One of the challenges a job seeker – particularly one who’s new to the job market – can face is a potential employer asking for professional references. You may be wondering what that means and who you should list. We have you covered in this post, but let’s start by defining “professional reference.”

A professional reference is someone who can speak to how good of a fit you may be for the job you’re applying for. They can verify that you have the experience and/or skills necessary to be successful in the position you’re seeking. They can also give the employer an idea of the personal traits you possess that could help you succeed, such as punctuality and work ethic. Finally, a professional reference can provide specific examples of tasks you’ve handled that demonstrate any of the qualities listed above.

So, Can I List a Friend as a Work Reference?

The simple answer is “no.” Not only should you leave friends out of consideration for work references, but the same also applies to family members and people you don’t really know. While it’s tempting to assume the compliments your friends and family would provide would make you more hirable, the opposite is true. You may give the employer the impression that there just aren’t that many people who can give you an objective, favorable appraisal. And listing someone just because they have a notable title has even more of a chance of blowing up in your face.

Who Would Be a Good Professional Reference for Me?

Think about people you’ve worked with or for. This could be former bosses and co-workers at prior jobs who have firsthand experience of what you bring to a work environment. In addition, you could provide the names of teachers, counselors or other academic references. This is particularly useful if you don’t have a lot of work experience on your resume.

Where Can I Find More Resources for Making My Resume Stand Out – in a Good Way?

Mega Force can help. Not only we do we help job seekers in Wilson and throughout North Carolina find great opportunities, but we also provide resume and interview tips to help you land a job that’s right for you. Want to learn more? To get started, visit our job search page.


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