Answered by Dean, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Great questions, but there is really no clear cut answer for any of them. Referencing a connection to establish a relationship is valuable, but make sure that they are aware that you will be referencing them and that they have a direct connection with the employer. As far as an employee reference, if they are willing to provide you with a reference regardless of degrees of separation, that is fine but you should ensure that they can adequately assess your performance.
Lastly, if someone is willing to hand in a resume for you, that is great! But I would recommend you do some due diligence as to who hands in your resume. You would not want someone with a bad reputation at the company handing in your resume.