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How To Format A Reference List For Resume

How To Organize Your List Of Job References

How to Use a References Template | The Resume Manual

Always start with your strongest reference first. That is, the person who you believe will be most helpful and most impressive when called should be the first person on your list.

Why list your best reference first?

Employers may not always call all of the people on your list, but they usually start at the top of the list and work down. In order to ensure they call the best person, that person should be at the top of the list.

Also, the first reference who is called will make the first impression and set the tone for the employer – Another good reason why you should put your strongest reference at the top of the list.

Should I Have Personal Or Professional References On My Resume

A professional reference attests to your professionalism and past achievements. As a rule of thumb, most hiring managers would prefer to receive a set of professional references or letters of recommendation since an attestation from a professional contact provides more insight into the applicants core competencies and workplace behaviors. This is why it is generally better to use professional references on your resume.;

However, you may use personal references if you dont have enough work experience or want a reference to validate your character and work ethic. Personal references are perfectly acceptable for students, entry-level workers, volunteers, or professionals in the service industry.;

Who Should You Ask To Be A Reference

Most companies will ask for two or three references from a candidate, so its always best to have at least three ready to go. Some prospective employers may request a certain mix of types of references, but generally you want to list former managers and former or current colleagues; if youre earlier in your career and dont have many former managers, you could list professors you worked closely with. If youd be leading a team, you may be asked for a reference from a former direct report. For some client-facing roles, like account management, companies might want to hear from a former client or customer, so be sure to read up on the norms for your industry.

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What Types Of People Make Good References

There are a couple of basic questions to ask yourself when considering who to add to your resume references list:

  • Who would be the best reference for this particular job?
  • Who do I know that works in this industry?
  • Who understands the exact skills I have that apply to this position?
  • Who do I know with the most impressive job title?
  • Who do I know at big-name companies?
  • Who am I okay with knowing Im looking for a new job?
  • Who might my potential employer know and respect?
  • Think about it from the employers perspective everyone wants to hire top talent.

    The employer is using your references to validate your story and hear that same story from a 3rd party. In other words, they want to know that you are who you say you are.

    They also want to know that your previous employers liked you. Were you an over achiever? Did your team love you? Were you an awesome cultural fit?

    Your potential employer cares about all of those things and the best way to find out is by asking.

    If you cant provide proof that folks enjoyed spending time with you, that you got your stuff done, and that you were a valuable asset, that’s going to throw up some major red flags.

    You’ve made it this far! We don’t want that to happen.

    Where To Put References On A Cv

    resume references

    The references section should be located at the bottom of your CV. If you decide to include your references on your CV, you should provide the personal details of your two referees here. If, on the other hand, you do not wish to include references on your CV, you can simply write: References are available upon request.

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    Resume Reference Page Example

    Check out this properly formatted resume references example to see what a references list looks like in practice:

    Note that in this example, the candidate matches the style of her reference page to her resume design.

    If you need to include a list of references with your resume, be sure to match the formatting to the rest of your application.

    What Information To Include On Your Reference Sheet

    On your reference sheet, you should list each reference with the following information:

    • Name
    • Phone Number
    • Email Address
    • Reference Description: Write one sentence explaining how you know or have worked with this person, where, when, and for how long.

    Theres no need to include your references home or work addresscompanies arent going to be mailing them anything. And if a reference expresses a strong preference for a certain method of contact, its OK to put next to that line on your reference list.

    To keep things easy for the hiring manager, its also a good idea to include your own name, phone number, and email at the top of the sheet .

    Also Check: What Is A Chronological Resume

    Who Should I Include In My Reference List

    You should organize about 3 to 5 references that can provide valid details about your job-related skills.

    Think about people who will make the right sort of recommendations for you. These individuals are likely to be contacted directly by a potential employer and need to be ready to answer common reference check questions. Use these selection criteria for references to help you choose the right references.

    Once you have decided on who you want to include in your reference list you need to obtain their permission. These individuals need to be prepared to answer questions about you and know what to expect.

    You can use this sample job reference letter to ask the person to act as a reference for you.

    If they are happy to act as a reference make sure you get their correct and complete details for your list. These include:

    • full name

    Mrs Home was my manager when I worked part-time at Macys 2015

    How To Format References On Resume With Enhancv

    How to Format a Job References List

    First, browse through Enhancvs resume examples and grab a proven template for your job position.

    Next, youll be taken to a page that guides you through how to create a resume for your specific industry. When you land on this page, click on the use this example button:


    Now you have access to a proven resume template for your job position thats gotten candidates like you hired. Youll be inside Enhancvs editor app which should look like this:

    Once youve made it this far, youre free to rephrase and change the information with your own details. Building a resume like this is much easier than starting on a blank canvas. To create a resume references section, you simply change the resume section heading to references and include them.

    Heres how this can look:

    Its really simple just add their contact details. Youre free to add a short description but I dont recommend it because space is sacred.

    Besides, the information will be shown any through the relevant resume sections e.g. work experience if theyre done correctly.

    When you highlight key details by using color, it improves the resume format since its easier to skim through. Not only do you save the hiring manager time by helping them find what theyre looking for, but theyll notice the key details first.

    Since references on a resume arent compulsory and theyre only really needed if the hiring managers ask for it, you should replace this section with something else.

    Its different.

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    First Decide How Many References To Include In Your Reference List

    While some employers may specify the number of references theyd like to see, others will not. In the latter case, think about where you are in your career. If youre attempting to enter the job market for the first time, three references are enough, but if the role you are applying for is higher up, such as a supervisory or executive role, you can include a larger number of references from different points in your career. Be sure to follow any guidelines the employer gives you during the selection process.;

    Create A Separate Reference Page

    More often than not, job applicants who have chosen to include references on their resume will do so on an entirely separate page to be included with the resume.

    The second option of listing your references on a separate page is actually the preferred and recommended method.

    This is because references are not generally expected to be included on an initial resume and can take up unnecessary space that may be off-putting to hiring managers.

    Comparatively, a separate page of references gives the hiring manager the opportunity to look more closely at the information in the resume without becoming visually disoriented by too many sections.

    Hint: Not sure how to list other sections of your resume? Check out our Resume Guides to learn more about how to craft each section of your resume.

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    How To Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important

    References available upon request.

    Heard of this one?

    The trite, superfluous phrase was all the rage decades ago. Nowadays, youd barely find anyone that recommends it.

    But what about actual references on resumes?

    Should I put references on my resume? is a common question you may have even asked yourself at one point in your career.

    At Enhancv, we strive to give you job search advice that gets results. We want your resume to cut through the noise and land you interviews.


    Awesome! Well guide you through the perils of references on a resume.

    In this article, well answer everything you need to know:

    • Do you need to include references on your resume or not?
    • How employer use references
    • How to ask for a reference
    • What if you have no references for a resume?
    • How many references on your resume are good?
    • How to send your reference list
    • How to list references on a resume
    • How to format references on a resume with Enhancv
    • Key takeaways

    If youre wondering how to go about listing references on your resume, we got you covered.

    Lets dive in.

    If you want to skip the entire article, you can browse proven resume examples for your job title by clicking below. You can see how its gotten professionals in your industry results and use it for your own job application!

    How To Write A Resume Reference List

    Resume Templates References

    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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    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!

    Next Choose Your Best Professional Contacts To List As References

    When deciding on who to include as references, consider former colleagues or supervisors who can validate your skills and qualifications, as well as your reliability and trustworthiness as an employee. Try to list people who are prepared to speak about the talents specific to the job youre applying for. When deciding who to list as a professional reference, check with them first to ensure that they are willing to be a good reference. Only include people you are comfortable with knowing you are looking for a new job, especially if you currently work with or for them.;

    The following people tend to be the best references:

    • Academic advisors
    • Supervisor

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    What To Include On Your Resume Reference Page

    Now you know how to set up your job reference sheet. But what information should be included on that page?

    For each job reference, you should include the person’s:

    • name

    Additional information you can include on your reference page:

    • how you know the person
    • how long you have known the person

    Including a brief description of the nature of your relationship with the reference can be helpful. For example, you could note someone was your supervisor at ABC Company, or the office manager at XYZ Company.

    Adding this information is particularly helpful if the nature of your relationship is not obvious.

    For example:

    One of your references might be someone who was your direct supervisor at ABC Company for 8 years. You still work at ABC Company, but your reference has recently changed jobs and is now a manger at XYZ Company, where you have never worked.

    If your job reference sheet indicates this person is a manager at XYZ Company, it won’t be clear that person worked with you at ABC Company. If you add a line to that person’s entry on your reference sheet to indicate they were your supervisor at ABC Company for 8 years, it will help clarify that relationship.

    Pick Contacts Youve Worked With In Some Capacity

    Preparing a List of Professional References

    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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    How To Format My References For A Resume

    Resume writers, career coaches and job search experts might say that references are no longer necessary on a resume; however, they are appropriate on a curriculum vitae, according to Career Services at Virginia Tech. The consensus is that it’s unnecessary to list professional, personal or character references on a resume or, even to include the statement “references available upon request” because so many employers conduct background checks and call references. The rationale is that if you want the job, then naturally, you provide references. That being said, you choose where to list your references, but if you list them on your resume, ensure they’re properly formatted.

    Do You Put References On A Resume

    The short answer is ; it depends. Normally, you dont need to put references on your resume. But there are a few exceptions. First, you should have references on your resume when applying for a federal job or another government position. Next, you should add them when the job listing or the hiring manager asks you to do so.;

    Here are three quick tips to help you decide when to put references on your resume and when to leave them off:;

    • Didnt see any mention of references in the job description? Leave them off. You wont be penalized for doing so.;
    • Keep some of your references for the interview. Doing so gives you extra time to research the company, understand what they do, and line up the best set of references, based on that information.

    Finally, if you are going to include references, you will need to create a separate resume reference page and format it accordingly.;

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    When To Submit References

    Unless otherwise requested, job references should be submitted later in the hiring process. I encourage applicants only to submit references after they have been asked, Venne says.Shane agrees that you shouldnt submit references with the resume. Your reference list should be included in your portfolio and brought to job interviews, at which time they can be presented upon request, he says.

    When Should I Include References On My Cv

    References In Resume Format:

    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

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