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Old 08-22-2012, 02:59 AM
 
Location: Stanton, CA
23 posts, read 87,017 times
Reputation: 23

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As I've said in a couple other threads on here the only job I've held was working the sales floor at a Target. It was doing bare minimum, entry level work, and I held the position for around 3 years. The majority of the people I worked with were people I knew going back to high school, junior high, hell even elementary school. It was a new location in the city I grew up and went to school in. I lost my job back towards the end of May due to attendance issues, a combination of my own poor planning and miscommunication, I have learned from the experience and it is not something I would allow to happen on any future place of employment. Now during my time of employment I had moved and begun searching for work closer to home, now that am actually unemployed living off of UI benefits and food stamps I need to speed up the process. I've had minimal success with only a couple of interviews and a ton of applications sent in to various low paying, entry level businesses resulting in virtually no contact in return.

I think one of my issues (aside from needing to do something with my resume, I don't even have a cover letter, though most of the places I'm applying are the kinds of places that don't even ask for resumes) is my lack of professional references. As I said I mostly worked with other kids I grew up with, people I've been friends with for 5, 10, 15+ years in some cases. Virtually none of the management there is the same as when I was initially hired, and most of them I either didn't work/interact with or weren't really anything more than acquaintances with. The only people I really have that I put as references are my mom's boss (well they're actually a couple at this point, but she was working with him for years prior, and he was a family friend before that), who owns his own business, and the owner of the hobby shop my friends and I go to, whom I consider a friend and I know would speak quite well of me if asked. But neither of them are people I have worked for, and I honestly do not have the info of anyone I did work for, that's just not how it worked at Target, there are no people there I can really use as references, the closest to that are people I've known for years and either they left the company or lost their jobs there as well.

So would it look bad if I just didn't put any references, should I continue using the ones I have despite them being more personal references than professional?
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:49 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
Reputation: 13019
Former coworkers can be professional references. Hiring managers understand that particularly in a place like Target, the turnover is crazy even in management and often the coworker spent more time with the applicant than the manager did.

I'd just ask a couple former coworkers if you can put their names down as business references and add in the hobby shop guy as a personal reference and be done with it. There's a big difference in references applying for entry level jobs and applying for mid-career level positions.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Stanton, CA
23 posts, read 87,017 times
Reputation: 23
Part of the problem is I don't have much contact with any of my old coworkers aside from ones I've been friends with for many years, and they don't work there anymore, and one of them was actually fired a bit before I was.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:26 PM
 
Location: here
24,839 posts, read 30,070,624 times
Reputation: 32401
If they ask for references, you have to supply something.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:59 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHarris7990 View Post
Part of the problem is I don't have much contact with any of my old coworkers aside from ones I've been friends with for many years, and they don't work there anymore, and one of them was actually fired a bit before I was.
So why wouldn't you use the ones you've been friends with for many years? The person doesn't ahve to still be working at the company you were working at together.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:26 PM
 
914 posts, read 1,165,795 times
Reputation: 450
I don't put any references even when they are required .I just leave a blank spot to get past the question .Alot of retailers thes days are asking for references cooks,sales associates,cashiers you name it.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:36 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
Reputation: 13019
We won't even consider an application from someone that doesn't at least include a couple of names and phone numbers and how they know the person as references.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:33 PM
 
12,289 posts, read 15,184,803 times
Reputation: 8100
You ought to have a few references, even if not professional. Obviously don't use your mother as one!
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:04 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,610,897 times
Reputation: 22283
I always wonder about the purpose of references for certain kinds of jobs. I can see them for someone with certain credentials but I don't really see the reason for them when the references are neighbors, teachers, coworkers.

Maybe they figure everyone should be able to come up with 3 people who would say something nice about them, if not, then maybe they think the person is a hermit or maybe a drifter who just showed up in town and really doesn't know anyone.

If they want references for a lot of jobs, I think you can just find old teachers, neighbors, priest or minister, just about anyone who will make it seem that you're at least not an axe-murderer.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:12 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
Reputation: 13019
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I always wonder about the purpose of references for certain kinds of jobs. I can see them for someone with certain credentials but I don't really see the reason for them when the references are neighbors, teachers, coworkers.

Maybe they figure everyone should be able to come up with 3 people who would say something nice about them, if not, then maybe they think the person is a hermit or maybe a drifter who just showed up in town and really doesn't know anyone.

If they want references for a lot of jobs, I think you can just find old teachers, neighbors, priest or minister, just about anyone who will make it seem that you're at least not an axe-murderer.
If they don't know a single person on the face of the earth they can use as a reference, they aren't someone I want to hire. In some ways asking for references on an application and actually getting them is just a sign that they can actually read and write and follow instructions to fill out an application. If they can't be bothered doing that, chances are they aren't going to follow instructions on the job.

By the way, for younger applicants, teachers are good references. They can say if the applicant was punctual, had a good attendance record, handed in assignments on time, was a quick learner, and generally got along with their peers. Not much different than a boss...
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