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How To Do A Reference Page For Resume

What’s Best To Include On A Job Reference Page

Creating a reference page for your resume

You need to make it as easy as possible for employers to get in touch with your references. But you must also to balance that with the need to respect the preferences of the people who agree to provide a job reference for you.

With those considerations in mind, you may provide either land line numbers, or cell phone numbers, or a combination of both. Just be sure to ask your references which phone number they prefer, and at which number can they be most easily reached.

Be sure to respect each person’s preferences.

Write A Matching Cover Letter

Now that you know how to write your dream resume, you might be wondering: is a cover letter necessary? The answer is yes, always include a cover letter if you have the option.

Knowing how to write a good cover letter helps you round out every application you ever send out, and boosts your chances of landing an interview.

Cover letters are a valuable tool in your job-hunting arsenal because they give you an opportunity to provide context to your resume, show off your personality, and express enthusiasm for the job youre applying for.

Heres an example of what a resume paired with a matching cover letter might look like :

Who Do You List As A Reference

Each candidate will need to consider their personal experience and at what stage they find themselves in their career to decide who to use as a reference.

Who to ask for a reference depends on these aspects because there will be a variety of possibilities for different jobseekers.

  • For example, jobseekers with a student resume may not have much professional experience in the working world but still have a selection of possible individuals to ask for references such as guidance counselors, tutors, advisors, coaches and of course teachers or professors from their academic career.
  • Whereas entry-level resume candidates may have some professional experience and wish to use former colleagues or managers. Another possibility is a project, master or doctorate supervisor from their most recent studies who will know the candidates dedication and interests well.
  • For professional resume applicants this step of the job application may be easier as their network of contacts will be more accustomed to giving and requesting references and will therefore know what is useful to mention as well as how the candidate in question behaves in a workplace environment.

It is highly unconventional and discouraged to use family members or friends as references. This is simply because they will not be objective in giving their opinions and generally do not know the candidates working practices or abilities.

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Why Do I Need A Reference Page

While your resume and interview are key components in the hiring process, a reference page is a supporting asset that may help employers learn more about you. Employers contact your references to get an understanding of how you work with others, your work style and your accomplishments. This provides them with a third-party account of why you are a good fit for the job.

Infographic Video And Website Rsums

Resume Reference Page Template

As the Internet becomes more driven by multimedia, job-seekers have sought to take advantage of the trend by moving their résumés away from the traditional paper and email media to website résumés or e-résumés.

Video, infographic, and even Vine résumés have gained popularity recently, though mainly in the creative and media industries.

This trend has attracted criticism from human resources management professionals, who warn that this may be a passing fad and point out that multimedia-based résumés may be overlooked by recruiters whose workflow is designed only to accommodate a traditional résumé format.

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Always List New References

Dont list your boss from eight years ago. The HR manager mightwonder why you dont have anyone who can give you a positive recommendationnow. Of course, if youre still in the same company working under the sameperson, then listing them is okay. But if youve moved on, find someone else to beyour reference.

Make sure the contact informationof all your references are updated, so your background check doesnt getdelayed because one of your references cant be reached.

Having A Master Reference List Ready:

It is helpful to have a complete “master” list of references already prepared, even if you are currently not looking for a job. This way, whenever you are asked for your references you will not struggle to come up with appropriate contacts on short notice. Gather together your professional contacts along with their names, titles, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses and keep them handy.

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If Possible Be Ready With Extra References Just In Case

Although most employers want to contact three people, if at all possible, you should be ready with six references when you’re job searching.

That’s right! It’s not a typo.

I did just say that, in an ideal world, you’ll have six people who are willing to provide a reference for you!

Different employers may want to talk with different types of people. If you have a variety of types of people willing to provide a reference for you, you’ll be more prepared to provide any type of reference an employer might ask for.

Most employers will want to speak with professional references, that is, people you’ve worked with, but depending on your background, the hiring manager’s preferences, and the type of job you’re applying for, the employer may want to speak with a:

  • direct supervisor
  • client or customer if that’s appropriate in the type of work you do
  • teacher if you’re a student or recent graduate
  • volunteer supervisor if you’ve done volunteer work that’s relevant to the job
  • placement supervisor if you’ve done a school placement that’s relevant to the job
  • personal reference who may be able to vouch for your character
  • or other people in your profession or community who can speak about your character, skills and work ethic

I realize six sounds like an awful lot, and I know it’s not always possible for all job seekers. Remember, this number is an ideal.

If you can’t find six references, don’t panic. Work to get a minimum of three people who will provide good job references for you.

How To Include References On A Resume

How to format a list of job references for a resume

This article was co-authored by Adrian Klaphaak, CPCC. Adrian Klaphaak is a career coach and founder of A Path That Fits, a mindfulness-based boutique career and life coaching company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also is an accredited Co-Active Professional Coach . Klaphaak has used his training with the Coaches Training Institute, Hakomi Somatic Psychology and Internal Family Systems Therapy to help thousands of people build successful careers and live more purposeful lives. This article has been viewed 3,553,822 times.

Many potential employers ask for a list of references in a job application or at the end of a job interview. Thats why its a good idea to have a list of references handy when youre applying for a new job.

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Before You Submit Your References

Listing your references on the page isn’t your last step in this process. If you haven’t already, ask permission from each of your references. It’s important only to submit the names of people who have agreed to serve as a reference.

Even if all of your references are happy to be on your list, it’s a good idea to provide a heads-up that someone may be reaching out to them to ask about you. This is a great opportunity to share some information about the job you’re applying for, provide some key points from your resume that you’d like them to emphasize, and generally remind them about your skills and accomplishments, especially if it’s been a while since you worked together.

Once you’ve done all that, review the list of references one last time to make sure there are no typos and that all contact information is correct and up to date. Here are some helpful proofreading tips for job seekers.

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:

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Here’s A Sample Job Reference Page Template

The example below shows our imaginary job seeker’s reference page formatted to match with her resume.

Notice the job seeker’s name and contact information on the reference sheet matches the resume exactly.

All of that text was simply copied from the resume and pasted into a new blank word processing file to create the heading for the reference page.

Also, the heading “References” is bold and in all capitals to match the resume headings, and the fonts are the same style and size on both documents .

I have centered the rest of the information on the page. This is a personal, stylistic choice. I feel the references’ names and contact information look more balanced when they are centered on the page, but if you prefer the look of left justifying your information, that is fine, too.

What Is A Character Reference On A Resume

Reference Page Template For Resume

A character reference is someone who has spent time with you and can comment on your personality. These references provide an idea of your ethics, how you approach challenges and your general disposition. A character reference does not necessarily need to be someone who you have worked with, but it is professional etiquette to avoid using immediate family members or romantic partners.

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How To Choose Professional References For Your Resume

You probably have a thousand skills. But you had to choose the right skills for your resume.

Likewise, youll have to be very selective on who to choose as your professional reference for the resume reference page.

Here are some rules:

  • Ask yourself if they are a relevant person to list .
  • Always ask for their permission beforehand. Dont assume theyll be willing and/or able.
  • Send them a reference request email, if possible, rather than calling by phone.
  • Ask them to make sure theyll be comfortable giving a positive review.
  • Ensure their job title is up-to-date, not as it was when you worked with them.
  • Double-check their contact details are correct.
  • Make sure they are aware they could be contacted by the employer.
  • Thank them, both now and if they get contacted!

How Many References Should I Have

Three to five makes for a good amount on a professional references list. Less than three will seem as if youre hard pressed to find people wholl vouch for you. More than five and theyll just groan, We get it, youre popular.

Expert Hint: When you replace our resume references example with your final copy, use some styling to make it stand out. I suggest making the first line bold, followed by an italicized branding statement, followed by a bold company name.

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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. Youre the perfect candidate and well prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

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Resume Reference List Template

It is important to properly format your resume reference list, such as by listing your references chronologically, beginning with the reference you have worked with most recently and working your way back in time. At the end of each reference, include information about your working relationship with that individual. Write when and where you worked together so that it is clear why you have included this person in your list. You want to make it as easy as possible for your potential employer to see the value in talking to your references.

Format your resume reference list in the same fashion as your resume, using the same fonts, colours and margins. This keeps your application documents looking uniform and professional. If you do this, your application will convey your consistency and eye for detail.

Ensure you format your reference list consistently and clearly by presenting the information in the following order:

Pick Contacts Youve Worked With In Some Capacity

How to Use a References Template | The Resume Manual

Whether that be a colleague, manager, classmate or professor, you should select references that know how you work. While friends and family may know you well on a personal level, they may not be seen as reliable or relevant as references who can provide testimony to how you work with others, your work style and your strengths. In fact, many employers will explicitly request references who are not family members.

Good options to consider including on your reference list are:

  • Current or former manager or direct supervisor

  • Current or former coworker

  • Current or former employees/direct reports

  • Academic advisor

  • Professional mentor

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An Employer May Ask For A Reference List When Considering You For A Job Get The Reference Format And Protocol Right By Following These Expert Tips

There’s a right way to reach out to trusted references.

Your resume and cover letter aren’t the only things that need to be spiffed up for a job search. What about your references? Employers may ask for a reference list when considering you for a job, so it needs to be in top form as well. Create yours by following these expert tips.

Who Should I Choose As My References

When choosing references, follow any guidelines the employer gives you. They may require a specific type or number of references. If you dont have instructions from the employer, you should select three to five references. When deciding who to include, there are a few qualifiers you should keep in mind:

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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.

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When Should You Put References On A Resume

Resume Format References , #ResumeFormat # ...

Including references in your resume used to be more common in the past. Sure, its good to prepare a list of references in advance, but including it in your resume isnt always the best course of action.

But in some specific situations, its still okay to put them on your resume or together with your application. Its not customary but certainly acceptable if:

  • The job listing asks for references from the get-go, you should include them without much hesitation.
  • Your reference is someone well-known in the company or industry. Sometimes you dont want to wait until the last round of interviews to play your strongest card.
  • Youre a fresh graduate. Probably you still dont have enough experience to fill an entire resume. Moreover, as a student, you have no authority yet. Let others do the bragging for you.
  • Youre a freelancer. For companies its sometimes hard to find a dependable freelancer. Of course, your portfolio is still the most important of your application, but you should always be ready to provide a list of references from your past clients.
  • Theres an employment gap on your resume. Including references on your resume is an effective way to balance out your work gap.

But If none of the above applies to you, dont do it. Its neither customary nor expected. There are several reasons for that:

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Put In On A Separate Page

Complete your resume information and start a new page for your references. You may create it as a separate document, but include it as part of your complete application package. In the heading, type the phrase “Professional References” in a large font, such as 16 to 18 point if you’re using Arial or Times New Roman font and the rest of your text is in 10 or 12 point format.

Avoid using all caps to avoid shouting . If you’re using another font, judge an appropriate size based on the font and size you used for your resume. Make your references page the same font as your resume for a consistent and visually appealing format.

Employers don’t always contact all of your references, so put your reference in order of importance to you, recommends .


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