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How To Do A Reference Sheet For A Resume

Should You Put Your References On Your Resume

Creating a reference page for your resume

Nope! Your references should never show up your actual resume, here’s why:

First, resume space is precious.

You just spent hours editing your resume and squeezing it down to a single page. You really dont want to be wasting valuable space on your carefully edited resume by adding reference details.

On top of that, the company doesnt need or want your references when you submit your resume. They’re still trying to decide if you’re even qualified to do the job!

A value driven resume bullet about a project you led is going to be way more effective than giving out your old boss’s digits.

Plus, think about where you’re submitting your resume. If you’re sharing it on LinkedIn, on job boards like Indeed or, you’re putting up a billboard with people’s information for everyone to see!

Your references may have your back now, but that might change if they start getting calls from Nigerian royalty who want to share their fortunes.

Ok, so should I at least put a line that says References available upon request’?

Nope! Its fully expected that youll provide references if the company requests them. Again, focus on selling yourself and your experience on your resume. We’ll take care of your references in a new doc called your Reference Sheet.

You’re going to want to fire up a new Google Doc for your references, but the key here is to make sure you’re staying consistent with your resume.

You want to make sure that your reference sheet includes:

  • Your full name
  • Link to your

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.

How To List Your Resume References

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Hi there! This is Jennifer calling from Google. The team absolutely loved you and we’d like to move forward by contacting your resume references. Can you please send them along?

SCORE! You finally made it, all that work is about to pay off.

You crafted the perfect resume and cover letter. You prepared for and absolutely crushed your interviews. You’re SO close you can taste it!

There’s only one thing left between you and that sweet, sweet offer a reference check.

If you’re thinking this is in the bag, you may want to slow your roll.

While your resume references are usually a formality, choosing the wrong people or presenting them the wrong way can throw up a red flag right as you’re about to cross the finish line.

The good news is that if you follow a few simple rules and plan ahead, you’ll knock this out of the park and be signing your offer letter in no time.

This post is going to cover everything you need to know about resume references, including:

  • Why resume references can make or break your chances of getting a job offer
  • Where to put your references
  • The best way to list and format your references in 2020
  • What types of people make great references
  • 10+ examples of awesome resume reference examples you can steal

You may be asking, who is this guy and why is he qualified to talk about this?

Now I want to share that info with you so you can replicate those results!

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Tips For Getting And Submitting References

Who to Use as a Reference. Choosing who to ask for a reference is an important step in your application process. You will want to tailor your reference list, depending on the job for which you’re applying.

When possible, utilize references with connections to the company or industry to which you are applying.

Its also helpful to use references who can attest to your qualifications for the particular job youre applying to. With this in mind, its great if you can list people who have worked with you in a similar context.

How to Email a Reference List. When youre emailing a reference list to an employer, name the file so that its easy to identify and easy for the hiring manager to keep track of. You may want to send it as a PDF file, so it retains the original formatting. Here’s how:

  • For Word Documents: click File, Save As, PDF to save your documents as PDF files.
  • For Google Docs files: click File, Download, PDF document.
  • Save the files with your name, so they don’t get mixed up with other applicants’ materials, e.g., janeapplicant.pdf.

Give the Reference Giver an Opportunity to Decline. When you ask someone to give you a reference, its always a good idea to give them an opportunity to decline. While most people are happy to help colleagues out with references and recommendations, there may be personal circumstances or professional policies preventing them from doing so at a particular time.

Should You Include A Reference Section On Your Resume

Resume references

Some employers may ask you to submit references as part of your resume while others may ask for a reference list after the interview or in the final stages of the hiring process. However, offering a list of references with your resume is generally not the best policy.

If a job posting does not request references, you should not include them on your resume or with your job application. It has become more common in recent years for companies not to provide references for former employees as a way to avoid potential lawsuits, so more and more employers do not ask for them.

Also, resume experts agree that a general rule of thumb is not to add any references due to space and time issues. Generally, you will want to keep your resume as short as possible, and adding references that an employer probably won’t use is wasting space that could be used for more important information.

The recruiter reading your resume also generally does not have a lot of time and will probably not reach out to your references unless you are short-listed for the job. This is usually why prospective employers do not ask for references until after the interview period.

However, in some job postings, recruiters will request references or testimonials in your resume or as part of your job application and, if so, you should follow the instructions exactly. If references are not explicitly requested here, you may be asked after your interview to submit a reference list.

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Salary Negotiation: Preparing For The Final Offer

What’s the last step in the interview process? The final offer letter. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ll want to be prepared ahead of time by checking out my article on how to negotiate your salary during an interview.

I’ll show you 3 simple negotiation tips that you can use to double your offer! While finding the courage to speak up about your salary and negotiating what youre worth can be tough, its an absolute must. If youre not negotiating your salary properly, youre leaving tons of money on the table. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get paid what you’re really worth!

When You Need A Job Reference Page

In most cases, you wont need a job reference page until the end of a job interview.

As a rule, you should NOT include your job reference page with your resume. Why? Its a matter of keeping the information private. Your references have agreed to let you give their contact info to your potential employers. But they most likely dont want that info sent out to just anyone who says they have a job opening. There are a lot of job scams out there and those bad guys really want the kind of info youll have on your reference page. Protect the privacy of your references by giving their contact info only to employers you know and trust.

Instead of sending it with your resume, bring your job reference page to the interview and offer it to the recruiter or manager only if you are asked for it.

Once in a while, youll be asked to send your job reference page with your resume before the interview. In that case, go along with the request if its a job you really want and you trust the company youre applying to.

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Should I List My Current Employer As A Reference

Some job applications or interviewers may request you list your current employer and ask if they have permission to contact them. In most cases, this could be awkward for both you and your current employer. You probably dont want your employer to know youre looking for a new job until you know you want the job and youve been given an offer.

Most of the time, its understood that you wont include your current employer as a reference for confidentiality reasons. However, you could share their name and contact information once a formal offer is made.

If you feel comfortable and trust them, you are welcome to list current coworkers as references. Sometimes they may be the most qualified to answer questions about your responsibilities and skills. However, only do so if you feel confident in providing that persons information.

List Your Best References At The Top

Resume Fix: How to use a Personal Reference

Not everyone on your references page will be contacted, soit makes sense to arrange your list to prioritize your fans first. Of course, you should make sure that everyone in yourlist can give a positive recommendation but if youre being honest, Im sureyou can pick which one of your references is most likely to give you animpressive recommendation.

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Should I Put References On A Resume

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.

Assemble The Perfect List Of References

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.

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How To Write A Resume Reference List

A resume reference list is a document that provides contact and background information on professional references. Recruiters and hiring managers may contact people on your reference list during the hiring process to learn more about your professional history, job performance and other details about the kind of employee you are.

While some employers may ask you to submit resume references as part of the application process, others may ask after a phone screening, face-to-face interview or before the final step in the hiring process. No matter when an employer asks for references, its helpful to prepare a list of several reliable contacts who are able to communicate your best professional attributes.

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A Great Example Of How You Should List Your References

Resume Reference Page Template

Boom! Look how awesome that is.

We’ve got our full name and all of our contact info right at the top. The reader immediately knows who we are, they can look us up if they need to, and our email/phone is available for any questions or feedback.

Our references are all broken out in a clear and clean fashion. Each person’s title, company, and contact info are readily available and we’ve taken the opportunity to drive the conversation here with a few lines of context at the bottom. Note that we defined the relationship at the beginning of that context.

If you’re not differentiating yourself at every step of the job search process, you’re getting lost in a sea of applicants. Plus, all this extra detail will help you build a rapport with your employer.

The example above shows the exact level of detail you need to add to your resume references list. If you use that as a guide and format your own reference sheet in a similar fashion, you’ll be ready to go!

All you need to do now is find your people, shoot them a note asking if they’ll vouch for you, and get your references sheet set up. You’ll want to have it ready to go at that next interview!

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The Ideal Number Of References

Now you might be wondering, how many references on a resume?

Because HR or whoever does the background check will have alimited time to conduct background checks for each candidate, its advisablethat you only put three to five strategically chosen people in your list.

Its likely that only three people in your list will becontacted, but its better to include five so the person conducting thebackground check will have other options in case the first three areunreachable or unavailable for whatever reason.

How Many References Should You Include In Your Resume

Though there really isnt a written rule anywhere about how many references you should include, the most fitting number would be three to five.

Based on your career level though, there is a general division of two groups:

Regular and/or first-time job seekers, should usually provide 3 to 4.

Whereas people applying for senior roles should include a longer list: about 5 to 7 references.

In that case, its sufficient to list one reference for all the different points in your professional record.

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Making A Reference List

  • 1Make sure your references know that you will be using them as references. Do not give out their contact information to potential employers unless they give you their explicit permission.XExpert SourceAdrian Klaphaak, CPCCCareer CoachExpert Interview. 18 December 2018.
  • When asking your references for permission to give out their contact information, make sure that they plan on giving a positive recommendation.
  • Its also a good idea to ask your references how they would prefer to be contacted .
  • 2Use a separate page for your references. You don’t need to have “References available upon request” at the bottom of your resume. Employers will assume you have references and will ask for them specifically – usually at the end of the hiring process.
  • Unless you are applying to be a nanny, personal assistant, or something with a similar level of one-on-one interaction, the main body of your resume should not even mention references.
  • 3Start your reference list with a heading. The heading should include your name in a clear, bold font. In a slightly smaller font beneath that, you should include your address, phone number, and email. For aesthetic reasons, you can align your contact information to the opposite corner, as below.XResearch source
  • You may also want to add a line underneath the heading in order to clearly separate it from the rest of the document. If you include a line, choose one that is simple and elegant.
  • How To List References

    How to Use the Excel References Spreadsheet | The Resume Manual

    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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    How To Ask For A Reference

    Asking for professional references can be a bit nerve-wrecking, especially if your references are busy people.

    The key to asking for references is to be polite and concise in your request. A direct phone call is preferred for asking for references, but a quick email can work in a pinch as well.

    When asking someone to serve as a reference for you, it is important to be considerate of their potentially busy schedule and give them a good time frame for when to expect a call or email.

    This is another reason why it is important to wait to provide references until requested, as it will give you a narrower window of time to give to your references of when they will need to be on the lookout a hiring manager to contact them.

    Quick Tip: When you call or email to ask for a reference, this is a great time to confirm that the information you have is correct .


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