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Do You Put References On A Resume

Examples Of References On Resumes

Where Do References Go on My Resume?

Letâs take a look at a few examples of references on resumes to learn more about common mistakes made when crafting a reference and how to correct them.

It is highly important to include the necessary information to contact a reference â just a name and company is not enough. You should always include at least an official business number and an official business email in your references.


Ask Your Contacts To Be A Reference

Its important you ask your contacts to be a reference before you provide their names. Not only is this a common courtesy, but it also gives them time to prepare for a phone call or email from the employer. Giving your references plenty of notice also ensures they have time to recall specific examples that highlight why youre the best candidate for the role.

Whether you call, email or ask your prospective reference in person, be sure its something theyre comfortable doing. Your best references will be people who enjoyed working with you and are excited to discuss your talents.

Related: How to Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

Cover Letters And References

Cover letters are the employer’s first impression of you as a potential candidate therefore, it is quite important to spend time on this document. This letter allows you to express skills and characteristics that you cannot express in your resume. Cover letters provide a venue for you to discuss your technical and transferrable skills illustrated by solid examples. Follow the standard cover letter outline to assist you with your first draft.

You must sound confident in your letter, emphasizing your positive qualities and how you will be an excellent fit for the position.

When employers request references, they will be interested in people who can provide information on your performance as a student, on the job, or in extracurricular activities. Carefully select references who know you well enough to offer concrete examples of your strengths. Always contact references before you share their contact information with employers. It is helpful to bring your reference list with you to interviews your interviewer may request it!

Make sure you provide your references with a copy of your resume. You may also want to include a brief abstract detailing the position you are seeking, what has led you to this goal, and any major accomplishments or experiences that have influenced your career path.

For an example of what a reference list should look like, .

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Dont Put References On Your Cv Do This Instead

Should you put your references on your CV?

I get asked this question a lot, and the short answer is No

Like many candidates, you may be tempted to include references within your CV in an attempt to be transparent, and provide recruiters with some early social proof of your abilities. And that is totally understandable.

However, the benefits of leaving your references out of your CV, far outweigh the benefits of including them.

In this post, I will explain the reasons why you shouldnt add your references when writing your CV, and what you can do instead to prove your value as an employee.

Should I Put References On A Resume

Resume references

The answer to whether or not to put references on your resume can vary.

The general rule of thumb when is actually to not include references on your resume.

This is because employers are unlikely to reach to references until the interview phase, making the inclusion of them on an initial resume typically unnecessary.

This does not mean that there are never scenarios in which you will need to know how to properly list references.

For specific jobs and in certain situations, you may be asked or required to include a list of references within or alongside your resume.

When you need strong references, it’s important to structure them so that they stand out and impress the hiring manager, landing you the pivotal interview.

In this guide, we will be covering the basics of how listing references on your resumes and when to know itâs time to use references.

Plus, we will discuss alternatives to sending references that can help you in situations where sending a reference may be a difficult task.

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Who To Ask For References

As you are creating your list of potential references to contact, there are a number of different types of people you can consider including.

It is important to keep in consideration how a reference can relate back to the job you are applying for, and whether their testimony of your work ethic and skills will be relevant enough for the desired position.

Here are some common examples of who to include as references:

  • Former employer or manager
  • Coworker, colleague, or team member
  • College professor
  • Internship supervisor
  • Community member
  • Business partners

When Shouldnt I Include References On A Cv

Since the inception of CVs, it has become a common practice for job seekers to include their references on their CVs. In fact, some careers advisors have gone so far to declare that including references on a CV is highly recommended!

In reality, references on a CV are not a necessity its entirely optional, and in some cases, it is best to omit them from your CV.

Lets explore the disadvantages of adding references on your CV:

  • References at this early stage of the application process are not required and completely irrelevant.
  • It takes up valuable space which can be better utilised by adding more important information to ones CV.
  • It could raise more questions or suspicions if a candidate cannot or does not include their current/previous employer.
  • References can be provided upon request hence, it is sufficient to write, Available upon request.
  • It can take up a lot of time to find two suitable referees, ask their personal details and ask their permission to be used as references. Why not spend this valuable time in looking and applying for jobs?

These are all valid arguments. Therefore, the following candidates shouldnt write references on their CVs:

Those candidates that do not wish to add references to their CVs should write: References are available upon request.

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When Should I Include References On My Cv

1. When requested by the employer

Some employers may request your cover letter, CV, references and/or recommendation letters as part of the first stages of the job application process .

If this is the case, you must provide your references to the employer, either through their job application form or by including it on your CV. Most employers, however, will not ask for this information until the later stages of the selection process.

2. To impress the recruiter

Your reference may be a respectable and well-known person who would impress the reader an MP, dean of a university, director of a famous company or a person who has received an honorary award .

3. To make things easy for the recruiter

Including your referees on your CV makes life easier for some employers who may want to speak to your references before the interview stage.

By providing this information beforehand, they can instantly check you out at any stage of the selection process. Remember, recruiters are under no obligation only to contact your referees after the job interview stage.

4. To gives your CV more credibility

Psychologically-speaking, adding references gives your CV a little more weight and credibility because it demonstrates that you are confident of your own track-record and that you have people who will vouch for your suitability for the job whenever required.

It also gives the impression that you have nothing to hide .

5. To fill up blank space

Assemble The Perfect List Of References

Should I put references on my resume?

If an employer requests professional references, providing them a strong, tailored references list can maximize your chances of being hired over other final candidates.

And whether you get the job or not, remember to thank your references. They took time out of their schedule to help you convince an employer that youre the right candidate for the position. The least they deserve is a nice thank-you note.

Also Check: How Far Back Do You Go On A Resume

Will They Agree To Be My Reference Or Should I Ask Them First

And humans forget to ask the permission of our references before listing them.

Do not just list down names on your references. It is polite to ask first!

The rule of thumb is to ask permission of the person listed in the references first.

You can send them an email or call them. To do this, you can note this information from their professional LinkedIn ids.

If they grant you the permission, only then you should list them.

Do not worry! They are not cruel at all!

This helps you save your ass in case your employer calls them for verification. Now, they will know before hand.

Also you can make sure their contact information is correct.

When your job profile is closed or you get the job, you can thank them.

Drop in a polite email. If they are a bit close to you, you can also invite them to dinner.

Quick Tip: Provide them with the copy of your resume before hand. This helps them get familiar with your job profile and praise you if needed!

Dont Waste Valuable Space

My general rule of thumb is No. This is an outdated sentence, doesnt add value, and generally wastes space. The space on your resume is limited, usually only 2 pages.

You want to use this space wisely to highlight your skills and quantifiable accomplishments. Your resume is your way to get into the door. Later on, when the candidates have been whittled down, far down the line, references are requested.

The only scenario when you should include a reference page is when the company explicitly requests it.

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How Many References Should You Have

Most job seekers should have between three and four references on their reference page.

However, if youre applying for a position that requires extensive vetting like a senior-level role, you should include between five and seven professional references.

But remember that all of your references should be high quality. Each reference should be able to meaningfully attest to your professional strengths and character. Dont include more references just to hit a higher number.

Show Your Reporting Lines

Do You Put References On A Resume Reddit

One argument for including references in your CV is to demonstrate your level of seniority and prove that you have good relationships with important figures in the organisations you have worked at.

A simple way to do this is by explaining your reporting lines in your role descriptions.

You can describe who you report to in the outline of your role description, like the example CV section below.

You can also demonstrate further interactions with senior figures in your workplace to show readers how strong your relationships with them are.

Doing these things will demonstrate your gravitas and ability to work closely with senior staff.

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How To List References

Before you begin your job hunt, gather your references onto a Professional Reference Page. Include each references name, title, organization, phone number, and email address.

List your references starting with your most impressive or important reference.

Dont annotate your application with resume references available upon request. This outdated practice only uses up valuable space and restates something that every hiring manager already knows.

Instead, create a dedicated references page separate from your resume, and attach it to your application.

Next, list each reference like this:

Proper professional references format

Company / University your reference works atFull address of your references company / universityPhone numberEmail address

Never include the personal address of your reference on your reference page, because hiring managers dont contact references via snail mail. Plus your reference may not want you to share their personal information with strangers either.

Underneath each entry on your resumes reference page, you should also make a note clarifying your relationship with the reference, and how long youve known or worked with them.

Finally, if you want to save time formatting your reference page, download our resume references template and fill it in yourself:

When Shouldn’t I Include References In A Cv

There are several situations where you should leave a reference list out of your CV, including:

  • The job description instructs you to leave them out
  • You have only one or two appropriate references
  • If they aren’t necessary early in the application process
  • If you have little to no room left on your CV
  • The references aren’t relevant to the job industry

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Why Are References On A Resume No Longer Used

Sort of like video killed the radio star, we can thank the internet for killing the idea of references on a resume. The short answer is: references on a resume are usually sensitive information and should not be widely distributed due to privacy concerns. Theres also the idea of digital etiquette, which dictates you shouldnt mention people will-nilly, opening them up to unexpected calls and messages. Such frivolous use of references on a resume can get you a very bad rep in many professional circles.

Before the 1990s, when you couldnt send mail without licking a stamp, resumes were relatively private documents that were printed on paper, enclosed in an envelope and dropped in a mailbox. Sure, a resume might be passed around an office, hand to hand, but this didnt make the references names, addresses or phone numbers accessible to millions.

That all changed with the electronic revolution, which turned resumes into digital documents that actually could be accessible to millions. Today you can post your resume on LinkedIn or any number of other totally public job-search websites. So do you think your old boss would be thrilled to know that youve put his name, title, employer, phone number and email address in front of potentially billions of people? Probably not.

Reference Sheet Template And Example

References: Are You Making a Resume Mistake?

You can use our template to make sure you have everything you need for all of your references.

Heres one example of what your reference sheet might look like:

References for Monica Medina

Keeping references off your resume is not only the standard now, its also more thoughtful toward the people youve asked to speak on your behalf. By only submitting their names and contact information when asked directly , youll know when a prospective new employer is actually going to contact themand you can give them a heads up, pass on any important information about the job or company youre applying for, and thank them for their help.

Regina Borsellino is a NYC-based editor at The Muse covering job search and career advice, particularly resume best practices, interviewing, remote work, and personal and professional development. Before joining The Muse, Regina was an editor for InvestorPlace, where she also wrote about topics such as investing and biotech companies. She holds a BA in English language and literature from the University of Maryland and an MFA in creative writing from American University. Find her on and .

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If You Have Additional Space For A Reference List

Generally, you should use any free space you have left in your CV to list additional accomplishments, awards or skills you haven’t mentioned previously. However, if you still have a significant amount of blank space remaining after including all of your relevant details, you can use this space for your references.

It Is Perfectly Ok Not To Add This Overworked Phrase To Your Resume

In my years of experience as an employer, I always want the candidate to furnish their reference when I ask for it. However, I do not want the candidate to put up their list of references on the resume. I also do not want the candidate to put reference available upon request.

I, along with other recruiters, have been around long enough to understand that you must have a reference, and we will ask for it when needed. So, it is perfectly OK not to add this overworked phrase to your resume.

This also safeguards the privacy of your references that could have ended up with several employers.

Brian Dean

Founder, Exploding Topics

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When Listing References On A Resume:

If you are applying to a job where the job ad specifically requests your references be listed on your resume itself, you will want to add just the basics in order to save space.

The best way to format these references is as follows:

  • The reference’s name their professional title and the company name.
  • The reference’s email address.
  • The reference’s phone number.

Add a heading, such as “references” or “professional references”. To further save space, you can use two columns to list your references.

When An Employer Requests References

Do You Put References On A Resume Reddit

In some cases, an employer will request references in a job posting. Specifically, they might ask for a list of three professional references with telephone numbers and email addresses. Follow the instructions when you submit your references. Unless instructed to do so, do not include the list on your resume rather, create it as a separate list to send to the company.

This list should include each references name, job title, company, address, phone number, and email address. If the job listing asks you to submit a list of references but does not tell you how many you need, include three on the list. This is the typical number of references that employers want for each candidate.

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How Many References Should You Put On A Resume

The number of references you include in your reference list will depend on your career level, but prospective employers will most likely give you guidance on how many references they want. However, generally, entry-level positions require about three references, while more senior positions may require five to seven references from different times in your professional history.


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