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Should You Put References On A Resume

Any Place Youve Volunteered

Should You Include References On Your Resume?

People you volunteer for can be excellent references. Plus, volunteering can impress the hiring manager! It can demonstrate your willingness to go beyond what is expected of you and even increase your chances of being hired by 27 percent, according to the Corporation of National and Community Service!

When Should I Include References On My Cv

1. When requested by the employer

Some employers may request your cover letter, CV, references and/or recommendation letters as part of the first stages of the job application process .

If this is the case, you must provide your references to the employer, either through their job application form or by including it on your CV. Most employers, however, will not ask for this information until the later stages of the selection process.

2. To impress the recruiter

Your reference may be a respectable and well-known person who would impress the reader; an MP, dean of a university, director of a famous company or a person who has received an honorary award .

3. To make things easy for the recruiter

Including your referees on your CV makes life easier for some employers who may want to speak to your references before the;interview;stage.

By providing this information beforehand, they can instantly check you out at any stage of the selection process. Remember, recruiters are under no obligation only to contact your referees after the job interview stage.

4. To gives your CV more credibility

Psychologically-speaking, adding references gives your CV a little more weight and credibility because it demonstrates that you are confident of your own track-record and that you have people who will vouch for your suitability for the job whenever required.

It also gives the impression that you have nothing to hide .

5. To fill up blank space

Assemble The Perfect List Of References

If an employer requests professional references, providing them a strong, tailored references list can maximize your chances of being hired over other final candidates.

And whether you get the job or not, remember to thank your references. They took time out of their schedule to help you convince an employer that youre the right candidate for the position. The least they deserve is a nice thank-you note.

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Its Unfair To Circulate Other Peoples Info Online

Whenever Ive seen candidates list references on their CV, they usually do so like this:

As you can see there is some key personal information on that person, sitting on a document that will be distributed online, uploaded to websites and possibly seen by hundreds of people.

This could potentially leave the individual at risk of receiving unsolicited calls from less scrupulous recruiters.


Because a small minority of recruiters will look at your CV and see those reference details as a person who could be in a position to hire staff, and view them as a potential new client.

They will then cold call them to pitch their services to them.

If you want to maintain good relationships with your previous managers, you probably wouldnt want to put them in a position where they are being cold called off the back of your CV.

Note: I stress that the vast majority of recruitment consultants do not use this tactic but during my time working in the industry I have seen it happen.

Dont Forget The Essential Details In The Process When Adding The References On A Resume

Reference On Resume Sample

Apart from knowing who is possibly a positive reference, it is necessary to understand how to use those references. So don’t forget to consider these critical points as well:

  • Be polite and phrase your request carefully not to put the person on the spot. You should ask if he or she would be comfortable being your reference.
  • If the person is open to participating, ask for a possible letter of recommendation or a LinkedIn recommendation .
  • Follow up and thank your job references after they agree to help you.
  • Keep in touch and keep your references up-to-date and think they are an essential part of your network. Consider being their reference as well and let them know about your accomplishments and your career success.

Also, It would take time, but once you put your positive job references on a resume, your chances of attracting an employer online multiply.

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Be Prepared For A Thorough Background Check

Preparing a short list of references for yourself is a good idea.

Firstly, it is essential to know what kind of questions can be asked about you from your referrals.

In general, they are related to your previous job performance and the skills the job requires.

Different questions merit different answers. Also, you should avoid putting a name on the job reference list for whom you are ambiguous.

There are also certain limitations about what a reference can say about you. Hence, choose professionals who have admired your work and know you better in a professional sense.

If you doubt what a particular reference might say, it is better to get that name off the list.

Try to keep it professional as people who are very close to you might end up saying something intricate about you that can harm your chances with the job.

Choose Those Who Speak Well

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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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.

When An Employer Requests References

Should You Put Your References In Your Resume?

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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Whats This About A One

Its been mentioned a few times; the perfect resume is a one-page synopsis of your professional highlights and qualifications. A resume is designed to be the elevator pitch of you as an employee. Quick and to the point.

Its critical to note that a resume and a CV or curriculum vitae are not the same things. If your profession or your experience deserves more than one page, then a CV might be the best way for you to highlight your amazing qualifications. But if youre like most people, then your career achievements can be summed up in one page, with a lot of tweaking. And that one page needs to be a real eye-catching masterpiece of professional success. That is, if you want to get the job.

If this is where youre headed, down the road to a great resume that lands every job you apply for, then theres no room for superfluous and outdated sections. Even one line like references available upon request takes up valuable real estate. Skip that line and skip all of the following unnecessary information, too.

What Do References Do On A Resume

The references section on your resume contains a list of people who can vouch for you and provide your future employer with more information about your abilities.

These can include your teachers, advisors, coaches, colleagues, employers or your direct supervisors. They know how you used your skills in the past, can confirm any qualifications that you stated on your resume or vouch for your character.

References help your future employer find out how you performed in your previous jobs or throughout your academic career. They can get an idea about your professional attitude and competency before hiring you.

Employers usually only contact your references once they get to the last stage of the hiring process. Or sometimes, in case youre a freelancer, they may ask you to provide references in advance.

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What Information To Include On Your Reference Sheet

On your reference sheet, you should list each reference with the following information:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Reference Description: Write one sentence explaining how you know or have worked with this person, where, when, and for how long.

Theres no need to include your references home or work addresscompanies arent going to be mailing them anything. And if a reference expresses a strong preference for a certain method of contact, its OK to put next to that line on your reference list.

To keep things easy for the hiring manager, its also a good idea to include your own name, phone number, and email at the top of the sheet .

Mistake #: Listing Someone As A Reference Without Asking The Person For Permission First

Reference On Resume Sample

Asking if someone will be a reference for you might sound like a basic step, but Kay says youd be surprised how many job seekers forget to do it.

A lot of people just dont ask for permission, Kay says. They just assume that the person is happy to do it. Hence, youll want to touch base with references before providing their contact information to a prospective employer. Its simply common courtesy.

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How Do I Ask Someone To Be A Reference

The key here is to always make sure you ask someone if you can list them as a job reference, and check in each time you list them. Ensure they are comfortable accepting the role of being a reference.;

Even if you asked them a while ago but are getting back into job searching again, give them a heads up youre searching again and they may be hearing from someone soon.;

A good way to ask someone to be a reference is either by calling them or sending an email. Ask if they think they know you and/or your work well enough to speak about it, and if they feel comfortable doing so. Or, you could ask them if they feel comfortable giving a positive reference. By asking ahead of time, you give them the opportunity to turn it down if they dont believe they can or dont have the time to speak to someone.

Be sure to thank the person in advance for taking the time to talk to a potential employer, and update them on your job status if you get hired. You may also want to ask if they can remain a reference for you in the future should you ever need one. Again, dont forget to let them know each time you start up your search and list them so theyre aware they may be contacted.

Should You Include References On Your Resume

If you are currently searching for a new job, you may be wondering if you should include references on your resume. Should you put your references directly on your resume, submit them as a separate file, or not have any at all? The answer depends, and here is what you need to understand about including references on your resume.

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Why Not To Include References Available Upon Request In Your Cv

Whilst including the text references available upon request wont damage your application, there are some important things to consider before adding it in:

1. Lengthens the hiring process While including this phrase can extend more control to you, its important to take into account that this creates more work for the hiring manger who now has to get in touch with you for the full details. If hiring managers are in a rush to hire a new candidate, they may go with applicant who already has all their details ready and available.

2. Its irrelevant – Many people may include references available upon request to highlight that they have references at the ready. However, every hiring manager will expect a candidate to have references. It would be better to remove this unnecessary sentence and maximise the limited space you have available in your CV.

3. Its not a strong way to close your sales pitch You want to set your CV apart from other candidates and finish it on a high point to be remembered. Adding such a phrase isnt going to help you achieve that. Instead, having information that is useful to the hiring manager, such as the contact details of the references who can vouch for the skills and experience you have listed in your resume can be more beneficial.

The Employer Requests Your References

Should I put references on my resume?

Always include a reference list in your CV if the employer asks you to. For instance, an employer may request a reference list for leadership positions, highly technical roles and jobs where professional references may be necessary to provide additional information about your work ethic, such as for human resources positions.

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The References Aren’t Relevant To The Job Industry

If your references aren’t relevant to the industry or job you’re applying for, leave them out of your CV. You should include references that can provide relevant feedback about your performance, work ethic and qualifications rather than just listing anyone you have worked with in the past. For example, if you have a professional reference from a previous job as a cashier, you should leave this off of your CV if you are applying for an entry-level developer role because they may not be able to provide enough applicable feedback to a potential employer.

If you only include relevant references, employers can get input that is specific to the job to better assess your fit for the role.

They Are Not Needed At The Early Stages Of A Job Application

References are simply not needed at the beginning of the job application process because employers do not normally request them until offer stage.

Although;there is no official regulation of reference request timing, its generally understood across the recruitment industry that most employed candidates will be unable to provide references until theyve been offered a job due to the fact most people cannot let their current employer know they are looking elsewhere until they have a concrete offer on the table.

Very rarely a company might ask for a reference at interview stage, but this doesnt mean that you have to provide one if youre not comfortable doing so.

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How To Format A References Section On A Resume

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!

How To Format Your References List

How to write references in resume example

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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