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Should You Add References To A Resume

Who Makes A Good Reference On A Resume

Should You Include References on Your Resume?

Here are some contacts you may consider using as a reference:

  • Previous employer
  • Business partners
  • Work friends

Whether youve had a long work history or a short one, there are specific individuals who make better references than others. Include people who are working professionals in your industry, if possible. When considering your choices, think about who would provide the best information about you. Only include people who know you well and who can speak highly of you.

Should I Include References On A Resume

In most cases, no. You should not waste space on your resume by including references. The exception is when the job listing specifically asks that you include references on your resume. Typically, job applications have form fields designated for listing references if the employer wants them. Instead of listing references on a resume, use that space for accomplishments, additional skills, or a creative introduction.

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.

Hi Steve

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

Kind regards


Professional CV templatesCover letters

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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.

Choose Those Who Speak Well

Resume references sample hannah hatboro 0411.docx6

Though someone may have agreed to serve as one of your references, will they speak well of you, and are they able to do so? I have had people ask me to act as a reference for them when they have not performed well for me or I am unfamiliar with their work. Be sure that the people you add to your list of references can discuss your work, abilities, and personality with thoughtful confidence in a positive way to help your cause.

In addition, stay in contact with your references. Keep them apprised of your job search, what positions you are seeking, and the type of work you wish to do. This will allow them to best speak on your behalf to help you achieve your career goals. A recommendation from someone you havent spoken to in seven years except to ask them to be a professional reference for you isnt going to be as effective as one from someone who knows your current professional situation and has a clear memory of your qualifications, strengths, and value to an employer. Plus, its just good professional courtesy to stay in touch this way!

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Start With Your Personal Details

Provide your personal information.

Start your reference list with your name, phone number, and email address, just as it appears on your resume and cover letter.

Add a simple line under your contact information to clearly separate it from the rest of the information on the page.

Below your personal information, add a title such as “references” or “professional references.”

Select your most relevant references.

Most employers, if they ask for references, will limit you to three, so you will need to carefully and wisely select the most relevant references. This should include people who can discuss your talents that are specific to the job you are applying for. Therefore, consider:

  • Whether the reference works in the same industry as the one you are applying for.
  • Which reference can best highlight your skills applicable to the job you are applying for.
  • Which references are not suitable to give you a reference for the particular job you are applying for.

Arrange your references to your advantage.

List those references that are most likely to give you a great recommendation at the top. If you are adding references for different fields of work, you can sub-divide your references into different sections to make it easier for the recruiter to read.

The best way to list your references would be to use the following format:

Do not list your reference’s personal address to protect their privacy, and because hiring companies no longer contact references by mail.

Fill Them Out During The Application

Some companies create thorough online applications for candidates to fill out. In these applications, you may find a section to fill out for references. Typically, this involves listing your reference’s name, relationship, job title, and contact information. Companies may ask for this information early in the application process to speak with your references before your interview.

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When Should You Include References On A Resume

The short answer is: never. References on your resume take up valuable space. Whether your resume is one page or two pages , itâs important to use that space to promote your qualifications. Moreover, considering that each job attracts more than 100 applicants and only 2 percent of applicants will be called to interview, itâs best to keep your referencesâ contact information private until youâre asked to share it.

Personal Information Photos And Schools

Should You Include References on Your Resume? | Resume Tips

Do not include any personal information beyond your address, email, and phone number. Leave out your age, date of birth, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, and the names and ages of your spouse and children. While some of this information may be required in an international CV, you should leave it out of a resume. The reason is that it’s illegal for employers to making hiring decisions based on this information.

You should also leave out important numbers that could allow someone to steal your identity, such as your social security number, driver’s license number, and any credit card information. You may wish to leave your address off your resume or only include part of it in some cases.

Your health is a personal issue, so there is no need to mention it on your resume. If you have health-related limitations they can be addressed during the hiring process.

If you get hired, the company will likely conduct a background check for a criminal record. However, there is no need to include this information on your resume. Also, there is no need to include personal pronouns as most employers will ask for your preferred pronouns.

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What Should A Resume Reference Page Look Like

A reference page for a resume should be an A4 page with the name and contact information of the candidate at the top, with a clear heading or title. To maintain a consistent structure it would be more professional to use the same style and layout as used on the resume for the name and basic details.

When it comes to listing references to present to a potential employer, you must ensure to order your list by descending significance. That means placing the most impressive reference at the top.

For the reference information, make sure you use all of the following:

  • Full name with corresponding title where appropriate
  • Job title or position
  • Name of company or organization
  • Contact phone number
  • Contact email address
  • Relation to you.

It is no longer necessary to include a physical contact address as references will no longer be contacted through traditional mail and it is inappropriate to share this personal information. We do recommend including a city or town name, simply to locate the business or association.

You can take a look at ResumeCoachs helpful guides to how to write a resume objective, work experience or other resume sections.

Also, you can find practical advice and examples on how to write a cover letter or an introduction to different resume templates for all types of jobseekers.

When To Put References On A Resume

So, if it is typically not expected to have references included on an initial resume, when is the best time to include references on a resume?

Creating a reference section or page can be necessary depending on a number of situations, including:

  • If the employer has specifically requested for references to be included in the job description
  • If you have progressed further down the hiring process and have been asked to provide references before or after an interview
  • If you are applying to governmental or institutional position, such as a federal job, that will require strong references and a background check

Quick Tip: If you have impressive references, such as a company CEO or another recognizable figure, be sure to make these the most noticeable references and the first ones you list in your reference section.

Overall, the golden rule is to wait to provide references until they are requested.

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Can I Use A Friend Or Family Member As A Reference

We are often asked:

My friend knows me really well, can they be my referee?

The answer is: no. The purpose of providing references is for the employer to get a professional and unbiased opinion about you and your abilities. Having friends or family members as your references creates a conflict of interest and defeats the whole purpose of trying to get an honest and unbiased view from an independent source.

The following are categories of people you cant use as your references:

  • Family members
  • People you dont know
  • People who dont know you well.
  • Does The Employer Call Every Reference

    Reference On Resume Sample

    It depends on the employer and how much time they have. If they were able to get enough information about you from the first two or three references to make a hiring decision, they likely wont call the rest. List your references by order of preference, meaning that if you want them to call a specific individual first, you should put them at the top of the list. Of course, that doesnt guarantee employers will start calling at the top and go down the list.

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    Show Your Reporting Lines

    One argument for including references in your CV is to demonstrate your level of seniority and prove that you have good relationships with important figures in the organisations you have worked at.

    A simple way to do this is by explaining your reporting lines in your role descriptions.

    You can describe who you report to in the outline of your role description, like the example CV section below.

    You can also demonstrate further interactions with senior figures in your workplace to show readers how strong your relationships with them are.

    Doing these things will demonstrate your gravitas and ability to work closely with senior staff.

    When Shouldnt I Include Cv References

    All that being said, there are certain circumstances when its best to leave out your CV references.

    These circumstances can include:

    • References arent required during the early stages of your application.
    • You are specifically asked not to include them.
    • You dont have enough references .
    • The references arent relevant to the position you are applying for.
    • You have been fired or have otherwise ended your contract on bad terms.
    • You dont have enough space on your CV to include them. Your work experience and skills are much more important so if they dont leave enough for the references, you can just skip them.

    If any of these are true for you, the safest bet is to leave them out and write instead: references 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.

    Most Employers Do Not Require References Up Front

    Should I Include My References With My Resume?

    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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    Dont Put References On Your Cv Do This Instead

    Should you put your references on your CV?

    I get asked this question a lot, and the short answer is No

    Like many candidates, you may be tempted to include references within your CV in an attempt to be transparent, and provide recruiters with some early social proof of your abilities. And that is totally understandable.

    However, the benefits of leaving your references out of your CV, far outweigh the benefits of including them.

    In this post, I will explain the reasons why you shouldnt add your references when writing your CV, and what you can do instead to prove your value as an employee.

    Should I Include References In My Resume

    As you create a resume that is designed to catch the eye of hiring managers and boost your chances of landing the job, you may wonder whether references need to be included. While the general rule is that a reference list is not a requirement for your resume, there are times when prospective employers specifically request that you send one. In this case, you need to take care to properly format your reference list and include it where appropriate.

    Creating a Reference List

    When you format your reference list, you will start with the same heading that you used for your resume. The fact that it is your reference list should be identified under the heading, and the contact information for your references will be aligned to the left of the page.

    Where to Put a Reference List

    Where to include your reference list in your application packet typically depends upon the instructions that you received from a hiring manager or in a job posting. It is common for hiring managers to ask for references to be included in the back of the packet, so you will probably stack your cover letter and resume on top of your references.

    Informing Your References

    Once you get permission to use someone as a reference, be sure to keep them informed when you actually send their name to a prospective employer. Provide a few details about the employer and the job posting to ensure that your references are able to give feedback about how you would perform in the particular position.

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    Full Details For A Reference

    If an employer asks for a list of references, they will usually expect a list of details that include contact information and how you know the individual.

    Example of full details to include:

    • Your references first and last name
    • Their current job title
    • Name of their current company
    • Company address
    • Name of their current company
    • Your references preferred phone number
    • Your references email address

    What Is The Difference Between A Personal And Professional Reference

    resume references

    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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    How To Write References On A Cv

    Important guidelines to follow when writing your CV references:

  • Your references must include the following details about each of your referees: full name, job title, address, telephone number and email address.
  • Ask permission of your referees before you give their details to recruiters. This will also make them aware that they might receive a phone call about you.
  • State the job title of your references. Without it, they could be just your mates or any Tom, Dick and Harry!
  • Do not disclose personal telephone numbers but instead, use your referees work telephone number .
  • Use your most recent employer as a reference, as is common practice. Otherwise, an employer may wonder Why didnt he/she include his/her most recent employer as a reference? What has this person got to hide?

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