Don't let not knowing how to apply for a job without a former supervisor keep you from getting your dream job. Although it can be scary to apply for a job without a former supervisor, don't be discouraged. A prospective employer needs references to verify your education credentials and past employment information, and confirm that you can do what you say you can do. You can still apply for a job, even if you don't have a former supervisor by finding other ways to provide your future employer with the information they need.
List other professional references. This is usually the best option for applying for a job without a former supervisor. If you've been in the job field, chances are you have had co-workers or associated with others in your field who can verify your employment and who will be willing to speak well of you to potential employers.
Offer academic references. At your request, school officials, instructors, coaches, and others in the education field can provide employers with a reference for you, and will usually be glad to verify your education and skills.
Provide personal references. This should be your last resort for applying for a job without a former supervisor. If your work experience is minimal and you don't have appropriate professional or academic references, you may need to give personal references instead. Don't rely on family or friends, but do choose personal contacts in professions similar to those you are applying for, and those who have seen you demonstrate the skills that the specific job you are applying for requires.
Provide a portfolio. A portfolio can demonstrate your skills. Create or develop a professional portfolio of your previous work or create mock works targeted towards employers' needs. Submit a portfolio with your application and let the products of your labor speak for you.
Give employers the information they need, but don't overwhelm them with too many references to wade through. Now that you are aware of several options for applying for a job without a former supervisor, select the references that will work best for the job opening and/or target your portfolio to that job opening. Get that application submitted and get started on the path to your next job!
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