How To Write References Resume
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Get Recommendations On Linkedin
Whilst this is not strictly a CV tip, its a great alternative to adding references to your CV.
During my time working in recruitment, every recruiter I worked with used extensively and the vast majority still do.
In fact, a recent survey carried out by Jobvite found that 87% of all recruiters used LinkedIn to find or screen candidates.
This means that there is a very strong chance that recruiters will look you up on LinkedIn if you apply for one of their roles.
So, what are looking for?
- They are making sure that your public profile matches up with the details on your CV
- They are looking for social proof of your claims in the form of recommendations
Writing something impressive about yourself is great, but its much more powerful if somebody else writes something impressive about you especially if that person is a senior figure in your industry. So, getting plenty of recommendations on your LinkedIn profile gives it a serious boost.
Reach out to as many of your ex-managers or stakeholders as possible and ask them for a recommendation.
Send them a simple message on LinkedIn like this one.
Hope youre well and still enjoying your time at Company X
I was wondering if you might do me a huge favour and leave me a gleaming LinkedIn recommendation for the time we worked together?
It would be greatly appreciated and Id be happy to return the favour or perhaps get you a coffee some time soon
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Types Of References And How To Get Them
Whether you are applying for a role in a professional field or academia, employers often ask for references who can vouch for your work and academic credentials. A reference can attest to your skills, education, work experience and other qualifications, boosting your chances of getting a position.
Choosing the right types of references can give you an edge when applying to competitive organizations. In this article, we discuss the types of references, how to get them, what to include in your references list and when to provide them during the job application process.
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You Should Never Say References Available Upon Request Because Its Redundant
References are not be-all-and-end-all ingredients that predetermine whether or not youll get hired. That said, if you have robust professional references at your fingertips, it might tip the scales in your favor.
After all, most companies will want to backchannel prospective hires, as it helps them a) understand if what they say in the interview is true and b) hiring manager will get a much better idea if the person is the right culture fit.
That said, you should never say references available upon request on your resume simply because its redundant.
Recruiters and hiring managers know that if they need references from a job candidate, they can always ask for them. On top of it, your resume needs to be a one-pager in most cases. So, if you decide to include that one-line space waster, youll have a harder time fitting everything on a one-page template.
Recruiting Consultant | Leadership Teacher, Kettering Fairmont High School
Employers Will Search For References
Potential employers get in touch with past employers, teachers, and personal contacts to verify your character, abilities, and qualifications.
When youre interested in making a big purchase, like a car or a house, you ask other people whove purchased something similar for their opinion. You talk to the past owners to get an honest personal review of the product, which goes beyond specification digits and all the fabulous things the salesperson told you.
Similarly, when an organization is looking to hire a new employee, they run a reference check to understand how they perform.
Almost all job applications require you to put a list of references they can get in contact with on a resume.
In theory, job references are entirely out of your control. You cannot force your last boss to sing praises of your work, nor should you!
However, there are still ways to avoid a negative reference and get one to secure the job. Here we point out some of them.
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Nouse That Space On Your Resume To Market Yourself To This Employer For This Position
That would be a resounding no. People dont have time for the unnecessary. Not respecting the hiring managers scarce resources using outdated and trite language is not a good look for any position.
Of course, you will provide whatever information is requested of you at the appropriate time. Use that space on your resume to market yourself to this employer for this position.
HR Business Partner, Zety
It Is Regarded As A One
No, you should not write references available upon request on your CV. Being a founder of a company, I think the phrase is unnecessary. It is regarded as a one-line space waster.
This phrase is useless because recruiting managers are aware that they can ask for references and expect to receive them. If you want a recruiter to think, Thanks, Captain Obvious! include reference available upon request on your CV.
Another issue is that, in most circumstances, your resume should be one page long. That implies youll have to cut any excess fat if you want everything to fit on a one-page template. That means that reference available upon request isnt going to get you a seat at the table.
Director of Operations, MyCorporation
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References On A Resume: All You Need To Know About Job References
Securing a job at a company requires potential employees to go through several stages of screening. And, putting references on a resume can certainly give you an upper hand.
However, theres one stage when the hiring company is getting serious, which requires communicating with someone other than the applicant. This stage is called the job reference check.
Here we will show you how to put references on your resume the right way:
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.
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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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Decide How To Send Your Reference List
The only time you should send your reference list with your resume is if the job posting explicitly requests references with the application. Otherwise, wait until a recruiter or hiring manager makes the request. Save space on your resume by removing references available upon requestrecruiters will request this list if and when they need it during the hiring process. If youre looking for additional guidance while creating your resume, review Indeeds list of resume samples.
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!
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Understand How To Ask For Job References
Make sure you take permission from the person you want to use as a reference.
Have a friendly conversation and find out what they would say about your performance and character before listing them.
Also, let them know beforehand what you are applying for and when they can expect a call or letter.
Remember that when you provide your former managers contact information, the potential employer assumes youve told him/her to expect the call.
Its believed that he/she will be available to talk about you.
How To Put Personal References On A Resume
Seeking employment is similar to being in business. Your resume is like your brand, and a personal reference is like a customer testimonial. To stand out in the crowd of resumes on a hiring managers desk, you want to craft your resume to fit the companys needs, and you want to select the personal references who can best substantiate who you are and what skills you have to offer.
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How To List Your References On A Resume
Should be easy, right? We’re just adding some names and contact info hereright?
Not so fast.
If you want to win more job offers, you need to capitalize on every opportunity to add value and control the process.
This means paying attention to detail and creating those opportunities through every step of the process. Listing your references is no different.
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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Rule #: Match Your Resume & Reference Sheet Styles
Before you begin adding your references, you want to make sure your reference sheet matches the same style and format of your resume.
This means using the same colors, the same font, and the same general layout. If you scroll back near the top of this post, you can see an example of how I did this with an example resume and reference sheet.
When Should You Put References On A Resume
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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How To Format A Resume References Section
Learning how to arrange a reference section is just as vital as other sections of your resume or cover letter.
A messy, carelessly formatted reference page will lose your employer’s interest.
So how do you write one thats eye-catching and professional?
First, put your references on a . Add an exclusive reference page, as the last page of your resume.
Keep the same format for your reference sheet as your resume and cover letter, meaning use the same font, margins, and color scheme.
If youve included personal references as well, you could also add Personal References as a subtitle.
Use the formatting we discussed in the previous section to list your references.
Ditch the common References available upon request.
This is a frequent mistake. Employers formerly know this and its an overworked phrase. The general rule of thumb is to keep your resume as brief as possible. Why misuse the space?