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Should You Put References On Your Resume

Mention It In Your Cover Letter

Should You Include References On Your Resume?

Though you should use most of your cover letter to discuss your skills and desire for the position, you can also use it to mention that you have references. This can show that you’re confident in your abilities and have taken steps to prepare for the hiring process. If you decide to mention references in your cover letter, don’t list your actual references or their contact information. Instead, tell the hiring manager you can provide them upon request. It may be effective to include this at the close of your letter. For example, consider writing:

I would love to discuss this opportunity further. I can also provide references at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

What Are The Benefits Of Adding Resume Quotes

Quotes from credible sources can help validate your skills and support the accomplishments that you have mentioned in your resume. If you include positive quotes about your work, you show employers that someone else thinks highly of you. Quotes can also convey your work ethic and personality in a convincing and compelling way.

If you include this quote from your previous employer: “Jaime is always on time. And what she doesn’t know about SEO isn’t worth knowing. I have no idea how she keeps herself updated on so many new trendsI’m just glad that she does,” your knowledge and work ethic are validated.

How To Request A Reference

When you give out someone’s name as a reference, be sure that you have permission to use them as a reference and let them know they may be contacted. Provide some information about the job you have applied for, so your reference can relate your experience to the job and give you the best possible reference for the job. You also might provide the person with an updated resume or list of your skills and qualifications.

If possible, select people who can speak to your skills and qualifications as they relate to the job youre applying for. Only choose people who you know will give you a positive recommendation. These are typically employers, business acquaintances, professors, or even customers or vendors.

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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.

Use A Quote Relevant To The Position

32 Elegant Should You Put Your Picture On Your Resume ...

It’s also important to choose a quote relevant to the position you’re applying for. If you have recently changed careers, use a quote that portrays the skills or abilities that are essential for success on the job. For example, if you’re transitioning from sales representative to a teaching position, find a quote that shows leadership and instructional skills.

Also, if more than one person has given you material you can reference, choose a person who has a higher position within the company or who was your direct supervisor. For instance, it’s more fitting that you use a quote from a manager or school principal directly above you instead of a coworker who had similar duties.

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How To Prepare Your References

I recommend that you decide on your referees and prepare them before you start interviewing, so that you can provide the information as soon as its requested.

To help you select the right references, and to approach them tactfully, take a look below at the list of frequently asked questions and answers.

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.

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A Solid Case For Not Including References

Recruiters and hiring managers know that the correct time to request a job-seekers references is at the point where the employer is close to making a job offer.

This means youre NOT required to list names of referees on your resume when you apply.

While some career experts argue that you have nothing to lose by including references at the application stage, let me provide you with three reasons why thats not the case:

  • References are irrelevant at the early stage of the job application process.
  • Valuable real estate of your resume can be used to communicate more vital aspects of your personal brand.
  • If youre currently employed, its likely that you will not want to alert your current employer to the fact that youre job hunting, which means you wont include this employer on your reference list .

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Should You Put References On A Resume

References are a list of contacts you give to employers to share information about you and your work history. Though you may think of references as another piece of helpful information to provide to employers along with your application, it’s best practice to leave references off your resume. If you’re interested in learning more about how to include your references during the hiring process, it may be helpful for you to consider when and where to list references. In this article, we explain what references are and address frequently asked questions such as, “should you put references on a resume?”

Should You Include Resume Quotes

A quote, also known as a “recommendation,” is a snippet from a positive testimonial sent from a satisfied customer or manager, a letter of recommendation or an endorsement from professional networking sites. It’s not a common practice to include a quote in your resume, but if you’re particularly proud of the praise or recommendation that you have received or if you think it will boost your credibility, you may include it.

Carefully consider whether or not including quotes will strengthen your resume for the job you’re pursuing. If the quote you are using doesn’t support the position you’re applying for, remove it. Also, if your resume is already two or more pages, refrain from extending it even more just to include quotes.

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When Listing References On A Resume:

If you are applying to a job where the job ad specifically requests your references be listed on your resume itself, you will want to add just the basics in order to save space.

The best way to format these references is as follows:

  • The reference’s name their professional title and the company name.
  • The reference’s email address.
  • The reference’s phone number.

Add a heading, such as “references” or “professional references”. To further save space, you can use two columns to list your references.

How Many References Should I Include On My Resume

References for Resume Sample

None would be best. But if youre going to do it anyway, three is ideal, two is too few and four is too many. So lets just say three. It all depends on the employers request and the seriousness of the position youre applying for. The rule of thumb is: think long and hard on whether you want to include references on a resume and how many to include, based on your personal circumstances.

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When Is It Ok To Include References On A Resume

If an employer specifically asks you to include references on a resume, forget everything weve said and do it! But you will rarely if ever find this request, so this issue will not come up very often.

If an employer is seeking references, thats totally understandable, but be sure that the employer wants the references to be listed on your resume. It might be a better idea to include references in a separate attachment that is not actually part of your resume.

Every resume needs to have five components:

  • Header: Your contact info
  • Employmenthistory: Your professional track record
  • Education: Where did you go to school?
  • Skills: What are you actually good at?
  • Thats a lot of information to include in a one-page document, and most experts agree that a resume should be only one page. Two pages are sometimes considered OK, especially if your job history is so stellar that you were both an astronaut and a brain surgeon. But for ordinary mortals, no hiring manager has ever complained that a one-page resume is too short.

    So references will almost always present two problems: 1) Nobody was expecting them, and 2) References will usually make your resume spill over onto a second page.

    Even worse, this second reference page in a resume might be totally blank at the bottom, containing nothing but references, in just a few lines at the top. This is a sure sign that you are a bad resume designer who doesnt know how to trim your text.

    Resume Template With Quotes Section

    Here’s a chronological resume template that includes a section for quotes:

    Contact Information

    New York, New York 64597555-123-1234

    Well-organized administrative professional with a variety of versatile skills that can be applied to any office setting. Advanced understanding of customer requirements with diligent assessment resulting in quality customer service and high levels of client satisfaction.

    Professional Experience

    Assistant to the PresidentCisco Technologies, Inc., New York

    • Supported the President in all aspects, including scheduling and logistics for speaking engagements and large-scale meetings
    • Worked in partnership with the President and the entire executive team, gaining a reputation as a reliable collaborator and resource


    New York University, New YorkBachelor of Science in Tourism Management, 2010


    • Organizational Management specialty designation

    Key Skills

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    Offer Them During The Interview

    It can be helpful to prepare reference information for your interview. Consider asking when scheduling the interview if the hiring manager is interested in your references. If not, it’s not always necessary to mention them in your interview. You may also specify during your interview’s close that you can provide references on their request in case they have more questions about you. This can assert your confidence and show the hiring manager you are prepared and have a strong desire for the position.

    Who Should You Ask To Be A Reference

    Should You Put Your References In Your Resume?

    Most companies will ask for two or three references from a candidate, so its always best to have at least three ready to go. Some prospective employers may request a certain mix of types of references, but generally you want to list former managers and former or current colleagues if youre earlier in your career and dont have many former managers, you could list professors you worked closely with. If youd be leading a team, you may be asked for a reference from a former direct report. For some client-facing roles, like account management, companies might want to hear from a former client or customer, so be sure to read up on the norms for your industry.

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    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.

    Try To Neutralize Bad Job References On Your Resume

    It is also illegal for a past employer to give a negative reference that defames your character, yet it continues to happen.

    The founder of Allison & Taylor, a job reference check firm, Jeff Shane, spoke about the employee verification their company does. She said:

    “Unfortunately, bad references are far more common than most people realize. About half of the reference checks we perform come back with negative comments.”

    While many companies may have the policy to inform only the job title and employment dates, employees frequently violate such policy. Providing a lousy reference may be inevitable for some people.

    If youre worried about getting a bad reference, call your former boss and try to understand his opinion about you in advance.

    If youre not convinced, try to provide another person as a reference to that company, like the Human Resources Manager.

    If you feel that you are repeatedly hitting a dead end after an interview, you might be a victim of a bad reference.

    Check up on your listed references and ask them, indirectly, if employers contacted them and what was said. You might be able to identify the person. But if not, change the whole list.

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    Should I Say References Available Upon Request

    The general consensus is: no, you shouldnt. Unless you have absolutely no experience, employers will assume that references are available upon request. In todays job market, the phrase References available upon request has become the equivalent of junk ink. Just leave it out, this type of professional reference fishing will just raise eyebrows.

    When Should You List References On Your Resume

    Writing Your Resume

    There are cases in which you may need to provide references on your resume. You might include this information if it’s common for resumes in your industry to have testimonials from other professionals about your ability. If you’re in an industry, such as consulting, that accepts case studies or testimonials on the resume, it may be appropriate to include the person and contact information for which these apply.

    Additionally, it’s acceptable to include references if the job description not only requires you to include references but explicitly states that you should include them directly on your resume. If not, create a separate document, called a resume reference list, to share your reference information. If the employers don’t ask for references on your resume, and you’re not in an industry that uses testimonials or case studies, it’s often best to exclude reference information.

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    Do You Put References On A Resume

    The short answer is it depends. Normally, you dont need to put references on your resume. But there are a few exceptions. First, you should have references on your resume when applying for a federal job or another government position. Next, you should add them when the job listing or the hiring manager asks you to do so.

    Here are three quick tips to help you decide when to put references on your resume and when to leave them off:

    • Didnt see any mention of references in the job description? Leave them off. You wont be penalized for doing so.
    • Keep some of your references for the interview. Doing so gives you extra time to research the company, understand what they do, and line up the best set of references, based on that information.

    Finally, if you are going to include references, you will need to create a separate resume reference page and format it accordingly.

    Should I List Employment References On My Resume

    We don’t recommend listing references on your resume.

    You also don’t need to mention that “references are available upon request,” as recruiters assume that you’ll have references to provide when asked.

    In the early stages of the application process, hiring managers are simply looking to get a high-level understanding of your work experience.

    Recruiters will usually ask you to provide references and request your permission to contact them later on in the hiring process.

    It’s uncommon for an employer to contact your references prior to speaking with you directly.

    For now, focus on providing them with concrete examples of how you added value in your previous roles to help them understand why you would be a good fit.

    You dont need to feel pressured to provide sensitive information upfront, either.

    Remember that the interview process is a two-way street!

    You should be evaluating the employer just as they are evaluating you.

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