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Who do I ask to be a reference when I have no work experience?

I've got my resume ready, created a LinkedIn profile and am ready to get my first job as a high school student looking for a summer internship. Who do you recommend I should ask? #summer-jobs #recruiter #work-experience #references #student-interns #job-application

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Subject: Career question for you

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Genevieve’s Answer

Providing references can be hard when you don't have any work experience. If you don't have work references, the next best thing is academic references. Try asking any teachers you have a good relationship with, did well in their class, etc. If you volunteer or are involved with any groups or organizations, ask leaders from those groups or organizations.

Thank you comment icon Dear Ms. Cawthorn, thank you so much! I am currently applying to jobs and your information has been so helpful! Thank you! Olivea
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Neha Jha’s Answer

Hi Olivea, your teachers, mentors or coaches would be willing to give you references. At the early stages of your professional career, the company is interested to learn about your ethics and values. Teachers, mentors and coaches are well-positioned to share their insights about your team work, leadership and problem solving skills.
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Meghna’s Answer

Hi Olivea,
As you start this new journey and do not have a professional experience, you can consider working with your teachers/counselors/coaches to provide references. As you get closer to the reference check stage, be sure to inform the references that someone will be contacting them so there is not any delay. Good luck!
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Neha Jha’s Answer

Hi Olivea, your teachers, mentors or coaches would be willing to give you references. At the early stages of your professional career, the company is interested to learn about your ethics and values. Teachers, mentors and coaches are well-positioned to share their insights about your team work, leadership and problem solving skills.
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Neha Jha’s Answer

Hi Olivea, your teachers, mentors or coaches would be willing to give you references. At the early stages of your professional career, the company is interested to learn about your ethics and values. Teachers, mentors and coaches are well-positioned to share their insights about your team work, leadership and problem solving skills.
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Megan’s Answer

I would recommend that you reach out to academic references (past teachers, counselors, principals, etc.). You could also reach out to any coaches, leaders, etc. of extracurricular activities that you're involved in. Also, if you're a member of a church, or any other social group, you could reach out to leaders there. Best of luck!
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Paul’s Answer

Your guidance counselor at school is always a good choice but do you do any volunteer work? If so, the person who supervised you is even better because this person can speak to your work ethic in a professional environment.
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Neha Jha’s Answer

Hi Olivea, your teachers, mentors or coaches would be willing to give you references. At the early stages of your professional career, the company is interested to learn about your ethics and values. Teachers, mentors and coaches are well-positioned to share their insights about your team work, leadership and problem solving skills.
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Alan’s Answer

Hi Olivea,


Genevieve offers great recommendations and to add on that, if you have a mentor or a coach from a sports team, they can also be good references. They can speak to your leadership, teamwork, and soft skill abilities.


I hope this helps,

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