Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Monday, February 10, 2014
Both! That way when the job posting asks for two letters of recommendation, your application packet will have exceeded expectations by providing three. Regarding asking for a recommendation from someone not in the field – don’t worry about that. No, that person won’t be able to vouch for your ability to produce XYZ widget (or whatever the new job is). But he or she should be able to speak to your work ethic, ingenuity, positive attitude, ability to solve problems, personal character, and/or other traits sought in the new role. For example, I once hired a graphic designer largely due to a glowing referral by the candidate’s tennis coach. Everything the tennis coach said about the candidate’s extremely positive attitude turned out to be true and I’m glad I took that referral into consideration when I made the hiring decision.