The last thing you want to have happen is go to an interview for a great job only to have the employer ask for references that you do not think you have. Remember, references can be educational, character, or professional; but, if you cannot think of one person from any of the aforementioned areas, then our best piece of advice for job seekers who do not have any recent references is to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to acquire new skills; keep your brain active; and build relationships with employers, the community, and staff members. Just think: You begin volunteering for said company and all of a sudden you have current skills to list on your resume. You have abilities and knowledge that help you speak more confidently in an interview. And finally, you have an employer and staff members you can list as references who can speak to your amazing work ethic. Although, if volunteering is not an option for you, consider asking the employer what you could do to alleviate their concerns about your lack of current references. Perhaps offer to work under a more stringent probationary period. Or, perhaps offer your time for one week to prove to the employer that you have what it takes to learn the job quickly and fit in with the culture of the organization. As Leonard Cohen wrote, “There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”