What do you do if you don't have a professional reference?
If you're applying for a position and the employer asks for references, find either an academic contact or close character reference outside of a professional setting. They will probably be happy to help you by writing a letter or sharing their contact information with your prospective employer.
What is a reference on a CV?
References are people who can talk about your work experience, work habits, character and skills. You should choose your references carefully. As part of the job search process, you may be asked to provide the names of people whom a potential employer can contact to find out more about you.