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How To Write A Reference Page For Resume

How Many References Should You Have

Creating a reference page for your resume

Most job seekers should have between three and four references on their reference page.

However, if youre applying for a position that requires extensive vetting like a senior-level role, you should include between five and seven professional references.

But remember that all of your references should be high quality. Each reference should be able to meaningfully attest to your professional strengths and character. Dont include more references just to hit a higher number.

Who Are Good References On A Resume

Selection is vital.

Perhaps you have worked in a number of jobs and have access to reference options from countless colleagues. In addition, you may have a significant number of former subordinates, supervisors, and bosses.

Your go-to should not just be to pick out the most prestigious ones. Relevance matters.

A mix is great, as it allows for a fuller character picture based on how you are perceived by both your superiors and your subordinates.

Below is a list of potential references:

  • Former or current supervisor
  • Advisor
  • Business partner

If your job search is discreet, it goes without saying that your current coworkers will not be a good option for you.

Remember to be specific when talking to your references.

Do you recall that time that you collaborated on a project with your reference and you saw a 10% rise in net profit in that area? Remind them. Then when called, they can say:

Yes. I worked with Mr. Smith for 7 years at ABC Company. We achieved a lot together, but a highlight was when we collaborated on a project which led to a 10% rise in net profit. It was a shame that he had to leave us, but I would absolutely give my recommendation.

That is a lot better than them receiving a call out of the blue and saying:

Yes. I worked with Mr Smith for some time. He was a good worker who I liked working with. Yeah, Id recommend him.

Being on the same page as who is giving your reference will help you a lot.

Additionally, advice about confidential applications is different.

How To Write A Reference Page For A Resume

  • As a rule do not include your reference page with your resume. Job seekers usually send their resume out to a large number of potential employers, this means the details of your references are also sent out to many people. This can impact on their privacy. Only submit your references if you are asked to. Have it available at job interviews so that you can present it when asked.
  • Always obtain permission from your references to include them on your reference page. These individuals need to be prepared to answer questions about you and know what to expect. Know how to choose and manage your references.
  • Give your employment references a current copy of your resume It is helpful if they have a detailed, up-to-date knowledge of your work history.
  • Keep in touch with your job references. You don’t have to contact them about every single job opportunity but if you are particularly interested in a position and it is looking positive, call the reference and explain what the company is looking for. They can then tailor their answers according to the job requirements.
  • Keep your reference page information complete and up to date. Providing incorrect titles and contact numbers impacts negatively on the impression you want to give the potential employer

How to make a reference page for your resume part 2

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Examples Of References On Resumes

Letâs take a look at a few examples of references on resumes to learn more about common mistakes made when crafting a reference and how to correct them.

It is highly important to include the necessary information to contact a reference â just a name and company is not enough. You should always include at least an official business number and an official business email in your references.


Most Employers Do Not Require References Up Front

Resume Format References , #ResumeFormat # ...

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.

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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 .

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.

Related: How to Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

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Personal Reference Page Template

  • Email
  • Other Apps

A reference page template is typically made so that the readers of your paper can find everything you have cited easily. To pick your desired style format click on the example image that you like best for your reference page.

References On Resume Should You Include Your Final How To List A

Sample Reference List For Employment

Writing a Reference Page

When you need to provide references to a potential employer, the best way to do this is to create a reference page you can share with them. A reference page is a list of your references.

You dont want to include the list on your resume. Create a separate list you can upload with your job application, if requested, and have one ready to share with the hiring manager during or after your interview.

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Alternative Methods For Sending References

If you are a new graduate or are returning to the workforce after some time away, you may not have many recent professional references to include in a resume.

For recent grads, including one or two professors can be acceptable, but you will likely still need other references.

Here are some examples of alternative references when you lack strong professional ones:

  • Volunteers you have worked with
  • Professors or teachers who have recently taught you
  • Community members such as church pastors or mentors who can attest to your character

Order Your Job Reference List Meaningfully

If you are at the beginning of your career, you might have certain references that are significantly more relevant than others. Because some employers may not contact every person on your job reference list, you should push your best references to the top of the page. While there is no guarantee that hiring managers will call your top contacts first, its a good way to boost your chances.

For job seekers who have been in the workforce for several years, however, all your job references may be equally strong. In this case you should create a list of job references that is organized either in alphabetized order by last name or chronologically from the time you last worked with them.

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Space On Your Resume Is Valuable Real Estate

Typically, a resume should be limited to one page unless you have an extensive work history. Because resumes are short and concise, the information you choose to include must be relevant and essential to the position you are applying for. References on resumes are a waste of space. You would be much wiser to include a little extra job history or an additional skill set. List out previous experiences including specific responsibilities and results.

How Many References Should You Include

The Best Resume Reference Template

How many references you have really depends on your prior experience and the job that you are applying for.

If you have just graduated, and have limited experience, it is perfectly acceptable to have 3 or 4 references.

However, if you have worked for a long time and are applying for an executive role, you should have at least 5, even up to 7 references.

However, read the job posting carefully.

If your potential employer says that they want 4, then provide them with 4.

You do not want to make it look like you are already not following their instructions.

Top Tip: If you provide 7 references, remember that your potential employer may only contact a few people. Ensure that your references are solid as stand-alone references, rather than as a group as you do not know who will be contacted.

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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.

When To Send A Reference Page With A Job Application

When sending a resume and cover letter to apply for a job, its often not necessary, or even desirable, to send a reference page at the same time. Wait to provide references until the employer requests them.

Since including a reference list is no longer standard practice, doing so might peg you as an older job seeker. You might also accidentally include someone as a reference who isnt respected by the employer to whom you are applying.

Typically, companies check references near the end of the application process, so unless specifically requested, you shouldnt initially include your reference list with your application materials.

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Tips For Putting Babysitting On Your Resume

Use these tips to help you build and write a well-crafted resume:

  • Be professional. Although babysitting is a highly personal job, keep your resume professional in tone and language.

  • Tailor your resume. Adjust the skills and words on your resume to match the provided job description for each position you apply to.

  • Proofread. Carefully proofread your resume before submission to ensure there are no errors.

  • Be specific. Be as specific as possible in your action-based bullet points. Use examples if you can.

  • Seek certification. Consider getting CPR certified or a certification in another skill area appropriate for your position to improve your resume.

  • Broaden your skills. Continue to develop sought after skills in your field through your babysitting work to boost your resume.

  • Keep it short. Limit your resume to one page.

  • Make it skimmable. Make sure your bullet points and resume design choices make your resume easy for the hiring manager to skim.

  • Quantify when you can. Use numbers when you can to demonstrate your successes and effectiveness.

When To Add Babysitting To Your Resume

Reference Page Writing

It’s best to add babysitting to your resume when you’ve done it for a considerable amount of time at a relatively consistent rate. For example, if you regularly babysit on Friday and Saturday evenings and have done so for six months or more, include babysitting on your resume. However, if you’ve only babysat once or twice over the last few months, it might be best to leave it off your resume entirely until you’ve gained more substantial experience.

Regardless of your level of experience, if you have certifications or have taken coursework related to childcare, list that on your resume if it pertains to the position you’re applying to.

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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 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:

    • Full name

    • Company/Institution where you reference works

    • Full address of the company/institution

    • Phone Number

    • Email Address

    • A very brief description of your relationship with the reference, including when/how long you worked with them.

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How To Format References On A Resume

Yourreferences page should be formattedin the same way as your resume and cover letter. Follow the same style orientation andformatting as your other job search documents. Here’s a resume references page created from an Envato Elements resume references template:

You can find more great resume reference page templates on GraphicRiver. Does your resume, cover letter, and references page have no clear format or design? Check out more easy-to-format design templates here:

Should I Include A Separate References Page

resume references

Should you include a separate references page that is not actually part of your resume? This is a much better solution if the employer has specifically requested references. Creating a separate document that is solely for references resolves the problem of putting peoples private contact info on your public resume.

In North America, the gold standard is a one-page resume. In the UK and certain other countries, however, two-page resumes are more common. But if you do choose to create a two-page resume, that doesnt mean you should include references just because you have more room.Provide what is asked for and what is expected. Reference pages usually arent required, so youre better off using the second page of a resume as additional real estate for your employment history, educational achievements, job qualifications and certifications.

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How To Ask Someone To Be Your Professional Reference

The more options you’ve got, the easier it’ll be to providea targeted list of references during your application process. Dont just list thenames of everyone you think of though. You might end up getting a so-sorecommendation if someone in your list gets a surprise background check callabout you.

Frame your request in a way that’ll allow the person toeasily decline your request. For instance, you can say Would you mind serving as a reference in my current job search? I wouldhappily serve as your reference as well the next time you need a new job.

If you need help writing an email that’ll convince someone to be your professional reference, check out the guides for writing email messages below:

Should You Include A Reference Section On Your Resume

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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