A Quick Guide on How to List References on a Resume

Including references on your resume can help to strengthen your application and give the employer a better idea of who you are and how you might fit in with their company.

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Natalya Luft
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≈4 minutes

When applying for a job, it’s important to have a list of references that a potential employer can contact to learn more about your qualifications and work history. Including references on your resume can help to strengthen your application and give the employer a better idea of who you are and how you might fit in with their company. Here are some tips on how to list references on your resume:

Choose the right references

When selecting references, it’s important to choose people who know you well and can speak positively about your qualifications and work ethic. Good references to include on your resume are former supervisors, colleagues, or professors who have seen you in a professional setting. Avoid including friends or family members as references, as they may not be able to provide the level of detail and insight that a potential employer is looking for.

Get permission

Before listing someone as a reference, it’s important to get their permission. This not only shows that you respect their time and privacy, but it also gives them the opportunity to prepare for any calls or emails they may receive from a potential employer.

Provide complete contact information

Include the person’s name, job title, company name, phone number, and email address for each reference. Make sure to double-check that the information is accurate and current.

Use a consistent format

When listing your references, use a consistent format that matches the rest of your resume. This can include using the same font and formatting for the reference’s name and contact information as you do for the rest of your resume.

Include a separate reference page

If you have a lot of references or if you are limited on space on your resume, you can include a separate reference page. This page should follow the same format as your resume and should be labeled “References.”

Keep it updated

As you gain more experience and make new connections, be sure to update your reference list. This will ensure that the information provided to potential employers is current and accurate.

Tailor your references to the job

When applying for a specific job, it’s a good idea to tailor your references to match the qualifications and requirements of the position. For example, if you’re applying for a job in a specific industry, it would be beneficial to have a reference from someone who has worked in that industry. Similarly, if the job requires specific skills or qualifications, it’s a good idea to have a reference who can speak to those specific qualifications.

Be prepared to provide additional references

Even if you have included references on your resume, some employers may ask for additional references. Be prepared to provide additional references if requested, and make sure to ask your references if they are comfortable being contacted by a potential employer before including them on your list.

Be honest

It’s important to be honest when listing references on your resume. Providing false or misleading information on your resume, such as listing a reference who does not actually exist or who is not willing to provide a reference, can damage your credibility and harm your chances of getting the job.

Follow up with your references

After an interview or if you know the employer is going to reach out to your references, it’s a good idea to follow up with your references and let them know what to expect. This can help to ensure that your references are prepared and that the employer receives a positive reference.

In summary, including references on your resume can be a valuable addition that can help to strengthen your application. However, it’s important to choose the right references, get permission, provide complete contact information, use a consistent format, include a separate reference page, keep it updated, tailor them to the job, be prepared to provide additional references, be honest and follow up with them.

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