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Where Do References Go On A Resume

Prepare To Offer Them

Where Do References Go on My Resume?

Even if the application doesn’t require them, it’s helpful to prepare for the possibility of sharing your reference’s contact information with the hiring manager. This allows you to offer references upon request and can help speed up the hiring process. Consider asking a few professionals to be your references when you start applying for jobs to ensure that you always have reference information to offer. Asking ahead of time helps you find a good number of references in case you can’t contact one of them in time.

Never Mention References Available Upon Request On Your Resumeits Assumed

If the recruiters and employers want to check your references, they will ask for them. Here are some reasons to not do it:

  • It wastes space on the resume that couldve been used for more value offerings, skills, or key accomplishments.
  • Its not a relevant term for your resume. It literally brings zero value.
  • It makes the resume longer than it needs to be, even if its just a line. Like a screenplay, every line matters in your resume.

You just need to create a separate document with your name and contact information at the top and the following information within the document:

  • Name, title

Leadership Author | Founder & Executive Director, Professionals In Transition Support Group Inc.

Having A Master Reference List Ready:

It is helpful to have a complete “master” list of references already prepared, even if you are currently not looking for a job. This way, whenever you are asked for your references you will not struggle to come up with appropriate contacts on short notice. Gather together your professional contacts along with their names, titles, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses and keep them handy.

Also Check: Should References Be Included On A Resume

Should I Include References In My Cv

Brought to you by CV Writers in association with Guardian Jobs

It used to be standard protocol to always include references in a CV. In fact, two references used to be the norm. However, the thinking on this has changed more recently. So why now leave off these seemingly important details?

References are not required this early in the recruitment process

The main reason is that references are only required at the very end of the recruitment process. As a job applicant, you may have one, two or even three interviews or assessments to go through. You then need to be made an offer and only after you accept an offer will references usually be requested. The simple fact is that the purpose of a CV is to get you a first interview, references are superfluous so early on.

You give yourself more options by providing references later

There is also a good tactical reason not to supply references on your CV. As you move through the progressive stages of the recruitment process it is likely you will think of different people who could act as referees. If you have given this information already, it could become awkward to then say you would like someone else to be a referee instead. As in a game of poker, its best not to reveal your hand too early.

Space is precious, dont waste it with references

This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

Related links:

You Absolutely Should Not Put References Available Upon Request On Your Resume

Professional References on a Resume

Why? It takes up valuable resume real estate for something that doesnt convey value to those reading it. If the employer wants references, theyll ask.

Theres one big exception to this rule: If youre running low on things to fill a page and youve done everything you can with formatting to fill the space, you can use this resume trope to fill a little dead space.

Just remember, however, that it is just thatdead space.

Luis Rolon

HR Partner, Resume-Now

Also Check: Coursework Resume

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

How To Write A Reference Request Email

Follow these steps for a great reference request email:

  • Give advanced notice. You cant expect busy professionals to be ready to speak on your behalf at a moments notice. Ask someone to be your reference at least a week before they could potentially be contacted by the hiring manager.

  • Use a professional email format. Make sure your subject line is direct , your contact details are clear, and youve formatted your email using the standard business letter layout.

  • Introduce the situation. After a brief how have you been type catch-up, get straight to the point of your email. Let them know the position youre applying for and ask permission to list them as a reference.

  • Tell them why you chose them. You can play to peoples vanity a bit with compliments or simply let them know theyre a great person to speak to your specfic skills in XYZ whatever the reason, share it so they understand your reasoning.

  • Give them information. You can wait until theyve agreed to get to this part or include it in your initial email. You can give them your resume, cover letter, the job description, and anything else you feel will make their job easier.

  • Thank them. Finally, thank your reference for taking the time to consider your request.

Then again, theres one more thing you can do.

Make a new resume and get more interviews.

Plus, a great resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our resume builder here. Heres what it may look like:

Also Check: How To List Gpa On Resume

Where Do Your Job References Go

Your job references go on a separate sheet from the resume unless the employer specifically states otherwise. Since an employer should contact your references to verify information, your references are meant to be used after an interview. Dont hand out references until asked in an interview. Recommendations could be considered your secret weapon protect them until the moment theyre needed.

How To List Professional References On A Resume

Do You Put References On A Resume? How Many References Do I Need To Give The Hiring Manager?

If you have decided to include a reference section of resume, read on about how to list references on a resume.

Best idea is to include the references in a separate page. This reference page for resume should be attached after the resume.

This is very helpful as the recruiter can skip this part if he wants to. This does not waste his time. And time is money!

There is a set format for the resume references. It is important that this reference page for resume does not look superficial to the employer.

Following format must be kept in mind while writing resume references:

First Name & Last Name

Some quick checks:

  • Use a dedicated references page for resume at the end of your resume.
  • The format of your references page for resume should be consistent. This means that you should include same set of information for each of your references in the list.
  • The design should be same as your cover letter or resume. This makes sure that your references do not look abrupt.

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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.

Mention It In Your Cover Letter

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.

Read Also: How Many References Should A Resume Have

Know Who To Ask For Job References

You should have a list of references ready when you apply for a position.

Some job applications only require your past employers’ contact details, while others might ask for a letter of recommendation.

That’s a basic tip, but it’s never too much to highlight:

Only mention those people as references who you know will say good things about you.

Forego that person with the impressive title, who barely knows you, in favor of the relatively junior person, who knows you and wants to see you succeed.

If youre still fresh on the job market with nobody to call upon for professional references, use a personal recommendation from the place you volunteer or a college or high school professor.

There may be instances where the hiring manager would like to talk to your current employer. Speak to your boss about reasons youve applied for another job and if he would agree to be a reference.

If you are not comfortable doing so, let the hiring company know and give your reasons.

You dont need to list your current employer as a reference.

If you have just passed out of college and have little or no work experience, somebody from the college administration or your professor also counts as a professional reference.

There are multiple ways to get a reference across to potential employers.

Before that, you need to find out if the person you intend to use as a reference has good opinions about you or not.

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

3+ Resume References Template 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 they 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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Guard Your Reference Information Until Its Needed

If you give out your job references too freely or place them on your resume, you may run into trouble with the people youve asked to speak on your behalf. If your references are contacted too often, it could become bothersome. Reference information contains private contact information only reveal them at an interview for an employer youre serious about working for.

Who To Ask For References If Youre A Student Or A Fresh Graduate

  • Teachers and professors.They can testify to your class participation, performance in your school projects or how well you can work in a team.
  • Coaches and leaders. They can endorse you for your leadership skills or the ability to work with others.
  • Contacts from your volunteer work. They can endorse you for your willingness to help the community, motivation and skills. Plus, volunteering is almost always impressive.
  • Employer from your part-time job or internship. Even if you stayed in your job only a few months, your previous employer can speak best about your work ethic.

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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.

What Not To Include In A Reference On A Resume

Should You Include References On Your Resume?

We have already covered the basics of what to include and how to format a basic reference â but what kind of information should be excluded from a reference on a resume.

Here is a quick breakdown of what kinds of information should be excluded from a reference:

  • Any personal information
  • Lengthy descriptions of your relationship to the reference
  • Personal anecdotes or other non-essential information
  • Too many references from the same company or employer

You ultimately want to provide concise references that are easy to ready quickly and clearly show why that person has been included as a reference.

Take a look at these two examples on correcting reference errors:

When including additional information, keep it to one line or less of the most relevant information.

Additionally, keep additional specific and donât use vague wording such as âseveral years.â


When making your list of references you plan of including, it is important to not include too many from the same company.

You should only really include two references from the same company if each reference witnessed different skills or accomplishments of yours that the other did not.


You worked at a corporate company in the communications department as a copywriter, and you have worked with both junior and senior level copywriters who you have included as references.


Also Check: Reason For Leaving A Job Resume

Dont Waste The Recruiters Time By Stating The Obvious

As a former public relations professional and as a recruiter, as well as in my role now as a PR professor/advisor, I have cautioned students and others over the years, Tell me why you believe you are qualified for this job. Dont waste my time stating the obvious like, for example, References available on request.’

Im going to ask you for references as a part of the interview process, so be ready to provide them then. Just give me the relevant facts so that I can make the initial decision on whether or not to call you for an interview.

Especially in todays chaotic reality, hiring managers are swamped with responses to job announcements. I recall once, many years ago, when the economy was, at best, iffy, applying for a position. It turned out that the human resources person and I had worked at the same company in the past.

I asked her, How many resumes did you get for this position?Her response? More than two hundred.

The company actually had to hire a couple of temporary HR pros to help deal with the avalanche! Yep, youre just one of the herd, and your challenge is to tell and sell your story quickly, completely, and convincingly.

My question: How do you deal with the hundreds of resumes that come across your desk?Her response: Easy. First typo trashcan.

Michael Moran

Owner and Recruiting Manager, Green Lion Search Group

Who Is A Good Reference For Your Resume

Its important that all the references in your resume are all deliberately selected individuals.

Everyones aunt thinks that they are special, but what does your previous manager think about your work ethic?

To figure out whos a good reference for you, you should take personal experience into consideration: that means what stage in your career youre currently in.


Because youd list different people at different points in your career.

If you are a student or recent graduate with little to no work practice, you would want to get references from:

  • Guidance tutors or counselors
  • Course teachers and professors

Any of these people can speak positively about your best skills, qualities, and experiences.

When you have some professional background, however, even at an entry-level position, you have more variety in selecting a good reference.

You could use former colleagues or managers as well as project, master, doctorate supervisors from your most current studies.

If you are a professional candidate, this process becomes simpler as your preferred references will be more acquainted with giving and requesting references.

  • If you dont have a lot of professional references to count on, you can reach out to just about anyone that can provide you with a valuable character reference.
  • If a friend works in the company you are applying to, you could also use them as a reference.

Other important things you should consider:

Find people who can properly display all of the above for you.

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