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More to CVs than references

Question :

I am a fresh graduate and I feel very anxious about job hunting. I’ve been putting off actually applying for any jobs because of the lack of references on my CV. While I’ve done several internships, I’ve done a rather poor job of keeping in touch. Will the lack of references have a big impact on my applications? 

Posted by Janie on Friday, 12 Apr 2013

Comments :

First of all, it is never too late to ask an employer for references, provided that you did a good job while you were there. Even though you might not have kept in touch after leaving, it is still worth reconnecting if you think there is a chance an ex-employer will be able to provide a few positive words.

Secondly, employers look for many different things on a person’s CV. This includes such things as their academic achievements, where they studied, their competencies, whether the letter of application was well written, where they worked before, and what their previous employers said about them. As you can see, references are only one part of the overall picture.

If you play close attention to these other areas, you will stand a much better chance of being granted an interview. Think about how you can stand out from the hundreds of CVs and application letters a potential employer will receive. Does your application achieve clarity, brevity and simplicity? During your internships, did you learn something that was useful and will help you stand out from the crowd? All of these add up to improving the chance of being interviewed. My advice to you is to keep trying and to get better.

How about sending them a three-minute video clip to express your desire for a job and why the employer should hire you? Good or bad, this would definitely make an impression depending on what and how you present yourself.

I would like to share with you one of my favourite quotes from a famous motivational guru, Dale Carnegie: “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

I wish you the best of luck and hope you land your dream job soon.

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