Under Your Individual Experiences
There are other ways you can write your reference on your resume. Consider placing your reference contact details under each job position instead. By doing this, you can save valuable space on your resume, as you wont need a new References section. It also helps the Hiring Manager who is reading your resume to easily connect each reference to the company they are listed under.
Hiring managers tend to skim resumes quickly on the first round. Placing the reference information strategically can increase your chance at an interview.
How To Send Your Reference List
When deciding how to send your reference list, you can do so by either:
- Including a references section on the second page of your resume
- Create a separate document for your reference list when asked, send it as an attachment in reply
- Use the goal of references is credibility so, by including references along with testimonials, you give employers exactly what they want without having to compromise space on your resume
When putting references on a resume, make sure you dont cramp or force things in. The reality is, resume references arent compulsory.
In fact, if you have a one-page resume, youre better off leaving it out.
After all, its precious space. As we mentioned earlier, if your employers want to see references, make it clear by directly asking you to include them.
Who Makes The Best References
That said, your references don’t just have to be former managers or colleagues. There are so many people we can pull from, here are few examples:
- Former managers
- Mentees or students
You definitely want to prioritize people who have worked with you in a professional sense, but you can also get a glowing endorsement from people who see you in other aspects of your life. Those can be just as valuable.
It’s also important to note that your references dont need to all be of a higher rank than you. If you managed an intern, if you mentor someone, or if you teach in some capacity, you could absolutely have your intern/mentee/student vouch for you.
If you’re in a management role, your best bet may be a direct report who can speak to your abilities as a manager!
Once you have your basic list down, try to think about who you know that is doing well for themselves, and whose job might lend a little credibility to your reference list. Especially consider people who are working in the same field as your prospective employer.
Definitely prioritize people who work in the same industry and major bonus points if they work for a potential client or partner that’s always a huge plus!
To recap on great reference options, you want to prioritize like this:
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Most Employers Do Not Require References Up Front
Employers and recruiters are sorting and sifting through hundreds of resumes to determine which candidates make the first cut and get an interview. During this first pass, they are not likely to contact any references. It would not be efficient to contact references during this stage. They would only waste time. They will want to talk to you first before putting in the effort to reach out to anyone on your behalf. If after the interview the recruiter or hiring manager would like to contact any references, they will ask for them. At this time , it is appropriate to give a reference page.
Personal Vs Professional References
If you have friends or family who are guaranteed to give you a glowing reference, it may be tempting to use them. However, it is a bad idea to include personal references on your resume or reference list. The employer is sure to think these references are biased, and it indicates a lack of professional references.
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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.
Choosing Who To Ask For A Professional Reference
Professional references can be a powerful tool in deciding whether or not you will get the job. A strong recommendation from the right reference can convince the prospective employer that you are the right person for the job, while a negative reference can knock you out from the list of new hires. Here are some of the things to consider when choosing the best references for a job:
1. Ask a manager or former boss
The immediate former boss or manager would be the best person to act as the reference for a new job. They can recommend your work based on your achievements and relationship with other team members. However, it is recommended to list managers or bosses whom you were on good terms with and are willing to be contacted at any time when needed. Some candidates may be hesitant to list their current bosses as references since it may ruin their current position if they are not successful in securing the new job. In that case, go with a previous employer.
2. Ask your colleagues to vouch for you
Apart from former bosses, you can also ask your colleagues and workmates whom you worked with in the same departments or roles to attest to your qualifications for the job. Your colleagues must have seen you perform your routine duties at your job in order to know the kind of skills and capabilities that you possess, and that are required in the new job you are applying for.
3. Know what your references will say about your work qualities
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How To Create A Reference List
Executive Resume Writer, Career Coach, Creator of Industry-Leading Networking System, Careers Author & Blogger
Job seekers frequently ask me where they should list references on their resume. The answer is that you shouldn’t list references anywhere on your resume. References belong on a separate sheet of paper that you can offer to the employer when they ask.
While many employers will ask for your references on the job application, few will call them unless you are a final candidate for the job or are offered a position. At that point, you may need to offer them your reference list. Here is what that list should include.
1. Reference name and job title
2. Company where you worked together
3. Company address
4. Phone and/or cell number
5. E-mail address
6. Relationship to applicant
It is acceptable to use a reference of someone who is no longer employed by the company where you worked together. The most important factor in a strong reference is that they can vouch for your character and job performance.
Once you know that your references may be contacted, it’s important to contact each reference as soon as possible and let them know that they will receive a call from a human resources representative or from a hiring manager. Inform your references of the following:
The name of the company considering you for hire
The title of the position for which you are under consideration
The primary requirements of the position
How To Format Your References List
Your resume references should be its own distinct document, not a part of your resume. However, what format you choose for your references list depends on what your resume and cover letter look like. That means sticking to the same heading, color scheme, font, and margins.
Other than that, simply follow these guidelines to format your list of references:
Start with your contact information , using the same format as your resume/cover letter
Add a clear title in a slightly larger font than your contact info. Something like Professional References is a safe bet. Just let a reader know what this document is.
Start writing references with the following information in the following order:
Company/Institution where you reference works
Full address of the company/institution
A very brief description of your relationship with the reference, including when/how long you worked with them.
Resume References: When To Include Or Exclude
For the majority of job applications you will not need to include any references with your resume.
If you decide to do so and they have not been requested this could be detrimental to your application, simply because you are prioritizing references over other relevant skills or qualifications which could be included in this space and add value to your resume.
The most likely scenario for your jobsearch will be that the employer requests references from you after a preliminary interview or in any case near the end of the application process.
This is because hiring managers will only want to contact references of those few applicants who are shortlisted after the interview stage in order to save time and effort. It is time-consuming for employers to call or send messages to your referees and doing so can become counterproductive and inefficient due to the time spent unless you are in the running for a job.
The only time it is acceptable to include references with the resume in a job application is when they are requested directly in the job vacancy description. When this is the case, we recommend only including them on a separate piece of paper as a reference page.
TOP TIP: For those job applications that do not specifically request professional references from the jobseeker, it is not advisable to include them but it is always wise to be prepared!
For other resume resources, you could use an online resume builder to help you create a winning resume from the very beginning.
Why Wouldnt Employers Ask For References Upfront
Interestingly enough, according to The Society of Human Resource Managers, 53% of resumes and job applications contain at least one falsification. At first glimpse of this you may expect most employers would like you to write your references on your resume, but youd be wrong.
In reality, contacting references is a tedious task for most jobs, unless they are critical and difficult positions. In the vast majority of cases, employers will use their best judgment while interviewing you. Most employers are confident in their abilities to narrow down suitable candidates, and discover in the by the interview stage whether you have lied on your resume.
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Who To Ask For A Reference
Short answer, anyone respectable who can vouch for your ability and character. As a rule of thumb, try to obtain 34 professional references and 12 personal references.
Professional references attest your professional ability. Ask your past superiors and partners to put in a good word for you. It goes without saying that you should never ask for a reference someone less experienced than you.
Personal references can vouch for your character. It can be any esteemed person from your personal life: past teachers, non-profit leaders, instructors, etc. Just make sure you dont include anyone from your family.
But before you even start to contact them, remember that you have to know your references well and be sure that they can give a good feedback.
Think about the people you worked forand worked with. Which of them could speak well of your qualifications, accomplishments and character?
How Many Resume References Should You Have
Most of the time, your interviewer/recruiter will tell you how many references you should provide. If that’s the case, you’re good!
If not, you can always ask to get a number from them. That will most likely be a range and it could be vague like, we’d love to talk to a few people who you’ve worked with.
If theyre not super clear, it’s up to you to decide!
My best recommendation is five people if you can swing it. Five references gives the employer choices while also illustrating that you have a solid range of people who you believe will stand up for you.
That said, not everyone has five references to put on their resume. If we’re talking minimums, you need to have at least three references to share. We’re about to chat through the types of people that make great references, so if you don’t think you can make it to three, stick with me!
Finally, a major exception here is for senior roles. If you’re going for C-Level or VP level roles, you’ll probably want to provide a more robust set of references. Seven is a good ballpark here.
Everybody else can stick with five!
Why Do Employers Need References
Employers typically request references from their top two or three candidates in order to learn more about each person, factoring that information into their final decision. References are an opportunity for a potential employer to learn more about your past work and impactâand to gain an outside perspective on any lingering concerns.
What Kind Of Reference Can You Give
Most job seekers will ask for one of two types of references.
Current or former employees or co-workers will usually ask for an employment or performance reference. It often includes their job title and description, their employment period and details of skills, experience and achievements. It may also refer to the candidates character, especially in the area of work ethics and attitudes.
Someone you know outside your workplace might ask for a character or personal reference. You might be an elder, teacher, neighbour or the persons volunteer, community or religious leader. A character reference describes personal traits and attitudes. It may also refer to tasks the job seeker has performed in the community or at school.
Most employers ask for references by phone. But some candidates may request a letter of reference or recommendation. You may want to provide a reference letter if youre retiring or if you or the job seeker have moved. These samples may help you write your reference letters:
Additional Tips For Resume References
Here are some tips you can follow when preparing your reference list:
Use the same format as your resume. Your reference list template should follow the same look and feel as your resume, with the same fonts and colours. This way, if you submit them together, everything will be consistent and professional.
Thank your references. After completing the hiring process or every time your references are contacted, be sure to thank your reference for assisting you in your effort to find a new job. Whether it’s a quick call, email or a thank-you note, it’s important you show gratitude to these important connections. Their testimonials can greatly influence the hiring decision.
Should I Include References If My Resume Is Too Short
No. Do not include references just to pad a short resume. If youre just starting out in the world, like a high school or college student who hasnt graduated yet, pump up your resume with your academic achievements, summary statement, internships, volunteer work and/or job-related skills. Tell your own story, and dont expect someone else to tell it for you.
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How To Format References On Resume With Enhancv
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.
Do You Put References On A Resume
Generally, you should not put references on your resume.
While it was once common practice to include references on resumes, experts now suggest that you use the extra space for something more valuable, such as work experience or marketable skills. Similarly, you should forgo adding âreferences available upon requestâ to your resume as it is seen as largely unnecessary by prospective employers.
The reality is that recruiters and hiring managers rarely have the time to reach out to references during the initial screening phase of the hiring process and will usually only ask for references from applicants that interest them. In effect, the only time you should include your professional references with your resume is when the job description explicitly asks for it.
While you shouldnât put references on your resume, you should prepare a separate reference list to send potential employers once they have requested them from you.
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