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People You Can Use As Job References Who Aren't Your Boss

Who should it be?
PHOTO: istockphoto

A common misconception most people have when submitting a job application is thinking that references are only supposed to be former bosses or employers. Wrong. While you definitely shouldn't put your mother down as a reference, think about people—who aren't your boss—who'd be able to talk about skills you'd like to highlight. Here are some examples:

1. An old co-worker

Your coworkers probably know more about how you handled the daily grind better than your old bosses. After all, you were in the trenches together. Not only will they be able to talk about your character, they also have insider knowledge of what it was like at your previous job. Just make sure to ask a coworker-turned-friend and not a frenemy you were always competitive with. 


2. A family friend you helped out

If your parents ever encouraged (forced) you to help a tita or tito out with random tasks, this is when those "favors" will come in handy. A friend of mine used to help her tita out at weddings; she'd run errands for the coordinator to make sure the whole day went smoothly. And that kind of work shouldn't be dismissed or overlooked. 

3. An organization you were active in or volunteered for

Your clubs are more important than you think. Having special interests and other passions outside the office is crucial because employers want people who are well-rounded. Plus, a good chunk of your time in college was spent outside of classes so your job applications shouldn't just be about your grades. Every experience counts so when you're preparing your job application, don't just focus on what you think they want to hear. 

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