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    I'm 18 and I've failed my A levels (didn't turn up to the exam), I resat my gcse when I was 17. I've decided to discontinue with education (since I have to pay fees) and go get a job. The problem is that I have no experience what so ever; I've never had a job and have no references. My family serves no help as my mom is a housewife and my dad is a taxi driver, they are not originally from the UK -- English is not their native language, so I have no connections. Today was my first time applying online for ASDA and soon realised I needed a reference...this is when I realised the problem: I don't know what to put down. As I said, I've done NOT as a single work; I don't eve m have a personal doctor/dentist, not even my neighbours since I don't talk to them much.

    I'm so depressed...like if I make a CV it will basically be a blank page. My GCSE results are not even good and I just failed my A-Levels making even a school reference obsolete. I did however do work experience when I was in year 10 or 11 for 2 weeks (1 week in two difference placements: M&S and Boots), I have the certificates for them. However, can I use these...it is like 3 years old :s

    I'm guessing the only way to gain reference is by voluntary work, can you explain a little about this? How long do I have to do this in-order to get a reference and how do they give me the reference, do I have to ask after I resign or do they automatically give it? What actually is a reference? Is it a letter?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
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    I barely did two days work during year ten work experience and still used them on my cv three years later. Reference wise I wouldn't be able to able give any sensible advice as I sort of gambled on lies. You've got to do what you got to do.

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    (Original post by joshuaww)
    I...............................
    You can still use staff from school, the fact you failed your A levels does not preclude getting a reference, unless you were disruptive, were sanctioned etc.

    You can volunteer by looking at websites like do-it.org or simply by phoning up charities or looking on their websites to see if they need more volunteers.

    How long you would need to be there to get a reference depends on how hard you work, but less than a couple of months isn't going to get you much of a reference. Referees usually explain how long they have known the person, and saying you were great over a year is better than saying you were great over 2 weeks!

    Writing letters of reference has almost disappeared nowadays, as the letters are so easy to make up. When someone asks for a reference what they want is some other professional to put their professional reputation on the line and say 'Yes, this is a decent person who will do a good job for you' or words to that effect. Usually you ask someone in they will be a referee for you and if they say yes, get their contact details (phone, email and address). You give those details to an employer only when asked. If you are the successful candidate, the new employer phones you and says we'd like to offer you the job, subject to satisfactory references. Can we contact your referees?'.

    The exception to 'ask someone if they will be a referee for you' is your current employer, who you can assume will be asked for a reference and will give a reference. That saves having to tell your current employer you are job hunting until you have an offer.

    On the CV, open a thread in the CV Help forum and see what they can do there.
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    (Original post by joshuaww)
    I'm 18 and I've failed my A levels (didn't turn up to the exam), I resat my gcse when I was 17. I've decided to discontinue with education (since I have to pay fees) and go get a job. The problem is that I have no experience what so ever; I've never had a job and have no references. My family serves no help as my mom is a housewife and my dad is a taxi driver, they are not originally from the UK -- English is not their native language, so I have no connections. Today was my first time applying online for ASDA and soon realised I needed a reference...this is when I realised the problem: I don't know what to put down. As I said, I've done NOT as a single work; I don't eve m have a personal doctor/dentist, not even my neighbours since I don't talk to them much.

    I'm so depressed...like if I make a CV it will basically be a blank page. My GCSE results are not even good and I just failed my A-Levels making even a school reference obsolete. I did however do work experience when I was in year 10 or 11 for 2 weeks (1 week in two difference placements: M&S and Boots), I have the certificates for them. However, can I use these...it is like 3 years old :s

    I'm guessing the only way to gain reference is by voluntary work, can you explain a little about this? How long do I have to do this in-order to get a reference and how do they give me the reference, do I have to ask after I resign or do they automatically give it? What actually is a reference? Is it a letter?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    You could still use a teacher from school to give you a reference.
    In terms of voluntary work- you could volunteer in a charity shop, with scouts/guides, your local rspca etc. And you dont have to leave for them to give you a reference. They can still give you a reference while you are still there.
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    I'm in a similar boat, except I completed my a levels. I used a tutor I had for year 11 who is now a head teacher and the head of a charity I have volunteered for. I would recomend you look into getting some work experience anywhere you can (many retail places offer this) then you can ask if they will be a reference and even if not you can put it on your cv. I would go down to your nearest charity shop and volunteer, you then have retail experience and they will likely be a reference for you. On top of this if you have a family friend who runs a business or anything along them lines, ask if they will say you did some casual work for them and put them down as a reference.
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    Agency work is a useful alternative.
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    get a mate to pretend to be one. doesn't everyone do this?
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    (Original post by martin jol)
    get a mate to pretend to be one. doesn't everyone do this?
    For my first job I used a family friend as a referee (I believe this is actually allowed as a character reference) and they were never contacted. A lot of part time jobs don't bother checking references at all, but you still want to be putting actual names down on the off chance they do.

    I would recommend volunteering, but not for the reason you stated. It's a good way to boost your CV and get the experience most places will require.
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    Hiya. If you want to make a bit of extra money on the side then please PM me. Looking for motivated people to be a part of my team promoting make up products x

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