What if I can't get a reference?

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If you need a reference after a long break, you may run into problems. Mum Julie says: 'I'm planning to go back to work after a five-year break bringing up my two kids, but the last company I worked for no longer exists, and I've lost touch with my colleagues at the job I did before that.'

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This affects lots of mums, but don't worry. If you need confirmation that you actually worked for an existing company, their HR department should be able to do this. If you can't get a reference from your previous job, ask your potential employer if a personal one would be acceptable - perhaps for some voluntary work, the PTA, or looking after someone else's children.

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