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How To Include A Reference In A Resume

Who Do You List As A Reference

Should You Include References on Your Resume? | Resume Tips

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.

Can People You Have A Personal Relationship With Be A Reference

It is generally advised against to include references that have a strong personal relationship with you outside of work as this can result in a biased recommendation from the reference.

However, exceptions can be made in certain instances, such as if you worked within a family-owned business or if the reference worked directly with you for a long period of time.

In general, however, try to avoid including references that are too personally related to you.

When An Employer Requests References

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 To Include References On 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 3,550,062 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.

Rather Than Putting References On Your Resume Type Them Up On A Separate Sheet Of Paper


Include the person’s first name and last name, current title and company name, email address, and phone number. Be sure to check with each of your references ahead of time to confirm that the person is willing to be your reference and to verify which phone number and email address they’d like you to share with employers.

It’s also helpful to add a line that explains to the reader how you’ve come to know this reference. For example, it could be as simple as mentioning that you worked together in Company XYZ’s marketing department from July 2015 to November 2017 or that another reference was your direct supervisor at ABC Institute between 2018 and 2019. You don’t have to write a paragraph explaining your relationship to a reference, but it’s nice to provide the employer with a little context.

When you type up your references, considering using the same header information and font style that was used for your resume so that the documents appear to be part of one overall package, even if they’re not attached to one another.

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The Right Way To Provide Your References To An Employer

Once you know who your references will be, you want to make it easy to submit them to employers when asked. So you should compile everything you need into a reference sheet, one handyand well-formatteddocument that can expedite the hiring process in the final stages.

When the time comes, you can attach your reference sheet to an email as a Word document or PDF file, or you can simply copy and paste the information into the body of the email.

What Does Reference Mean On A Resume

What are references in a CV? Your references are people, called referees, who can testify about your character, skills and abilities to prospective employers. You could consider your referees as your personal advocates or ambassadors. The employer might call them or request in writing some information about you.

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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.

Then Describe The Job You Are Applying For

Resume Writing Tips : How to Put References in a Resume Step-By-Step

Send your reference a description of the job you want and the skills and experience it requires. If they understand the industry and the position, they can talk with the hiring manager about the traits you have that are the most relevant. The more information you can give a potential reference about the job you are applying for, the better prepared they will be to give you an effective recommendation.

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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 wed 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. Youre SO close you can taste it!

Theres only one thing left between you and that sweet, sweet offer a reference check.

If youre 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 youre about to cross the finish line.

The good news is that if you follow a few simple rules and plan ahead, youll 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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Mention Your Personal Details

Before listing the contact details of your references, try to include your details on the page. You can include your name, address, phone number and email address as it appears on your resume. Just below your details, add a title to your page. The title could be Professional references or References.

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Should I Say References Available Upon Request

The general consensus is: no, you shouldnt. Unless you have absolutely no experience, employers will assume that references are available upon request. In todays job market, the phrase References available upon request has become the equivalent of junk ink. Just leave it out, this type of professional reference fishing will just raise eyebrows.

Do Not Include In Your Resume

Where To Put References On Resume

One of the biggest mistakes that applicants make when trying to submit professional reference information is that they include professional references either in the body of their cover letter or that of their resume. Do not make this mistake, as it will make the potential employer question your professionalism and knowledge of resume submission. Professional references have no place in your resume, for two reasons: first, employers do not need this information so early in the application process, as they will not call all the references of every applicant in the first phase of weeding out applicants. It is too much work. Secondly, it is a disrespectful action to take against the very people supplying you with professional commendations in your references, and neither the reference nor the employer will probably see the inclusion as a positive step. This said, do not include your professional references in your resume or your cover letter.

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How To Ask For References

Youve got your wish list. What to do now?

Of course, sometimes you dont have a choice. If sending your prospective reference an email is the only option, be sure to briefly remind them of who you are. Describe the projects you worked on together and explain where youre heading with your career.

Also, send them a copy of your resume as an attachment. This will help them recall the times when you were working with them and remind them of your achievements and personality.

Give your potential references enough details about the jobs youre applying for. Be specific in what skills and qualities youd like to emphasize. Furthermore, you can even send them the job description. This will help them talk to the employer and endorse your key qualifications.

When it comes to formulating your request, try to be a bit diplomatic. Allow people to refuse gracefully. Here are a few ideas on how to frame your question:

  • Would you feel comfortable being my reference in my upcoming job search?
  • Would you find some time in the next few weeks to meet and talk about being my reference during my job hunt?

If you get a positive reply, youre almost finished. Take a moment to get your references current titles and contact information right. Also, ask how theyd prefer to be contacted by the recruiter usually either by phone or email.

Heres an example of e-mail request that you can use.

Subject: Larry Brown Reference Request

Dear Mr. Clark,

Best regards,

What Is The Difference Between A Personal And Professional Reference

Personal references include people like your friends and family members. Professional references are working professionals youve met in a formal setting, like at school or work. Generally, youll want to choose professional references over personal references on a resume for two reasons. First, professional references give you credibility because they have seen how you perform at work or school. Second, they are less likely to be biased. Only include personal references if you have no work experience and have no other options. Even then, you should choose your references wisely.

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Do Hiring Managers Call Previous Employers If Theyre Not Listed As References

They may, but its not likely. Typically, employers only call the references you have listed because they dont wish to disrespect your job search and because they are limited on time. If you choose to list a previous employer, only include people from the company whom you trust to speak highly of you.

If you need help writing a resume, use our data-backed resume builder.

Who Should You Ask To Be A Reference

Should I include references on my resume?

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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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.

Who To Ask For References If Youre A Student Or A Fresh Graduate

  • Teachers and professors.They can testify to your class participation, performance in your school projects or how well you can work in a team.
  • Coaches and leaders. They can endorse you for your leadership skills or the ability to work with others.
  • Contacts from your volunteer work. They can endorse you for your willingness to help the community, motivation and skills. Plus, volunteering is almost always impressive.
  • Employer from your part-time job or internship. Even if you stayed in your job only a few months, your previous employer can speak best about your work ethic.

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How Employers Use References

References are more commonly called after your interviews have gone well and the employer is in the final stages of deciding whether or not to offer you the job. For many employers, references are used to confirm many of the positive attributes they observed during the interview and to verify details of your work history that you may have shared. For this reason, they arent typically a part of the application or early interview process.

How To Format A References Section On A Resume

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Formatting a reference section will ultimately depend on if it is being created within a larger resume or separately on a different page.

For on-resume reference sections, it is important to keep them as short as possible, potentially even excluding some of the basic information.

If you are including references directly on a resume, you will likely only want to include one or two of your most relevant and impressive ones in order to not take up too much space.

When making a separate page for references, you can simply stack them as you would jobs in a work experience section, placing emphasis on relevance in how the references are ordered.

The Basic Reference Format:

  • Position or Title
  • Company or University of Employment
  • Company or University Address
  • Company or University Phone number
  • Company or University Email Address

It is important when writing out your references that you do not include personal information about the reference, such as a personal cellphone number or email, without their explicit permission.

It is best to just air on the side of caution and only include official and public contact information.

There is, of course, optional additional information you may want or choose to include within a reference.

This can include:

As for formatting the rest of your resume, donât forget to check out our other guides in this series including How to Write the Perfect Resume in 2021 and How to Choose the Correct Resume Format in 2021!

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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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How To Write References On A Cv

Knowing how to put references in your CV can make a significant difference while applying for the job. Here are some guidelines to follow to help you do it correctly.

Your references must include full name, job title, telephone number, and email address. This way, a prospective employer can see theyre trustworthy, relevant, and contact them if needed.

You should always ask permission before including the references. You should never disclose a contact before asking permission for it, to let them know they might get a phone call.Use your most recent employer for a reference, as they might be the ones who might be the most relevant.

Where to put references on a CV?

Most commonly, the reference section is in the lower part of the CV. In case you dont feel comfortable sharing references right away but need some space to make your CV fuller, you can still keep the reference section but write References are available upon request and solve the problem on the spot.

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