You have applied for a job and your hiring manager asked for references. And now you are thinking about how to list references on your resume to make it work the best for you.
Should you add details for your references on your resume page or in your cover letter? Or should you put a separate page with your resume?
You must have so many questions when you are being asked for references. Do not worry I have written this article on how you can put and format your references with examples.
How to List References on a Resume?
It is recommended to provide references only when you are asked to do so. When you are creating your resume you should not mention things like “References available on request”. It is an outdated trick and it also eats up your resume space. To make an awesome resume check my complete resume guide.
But when the recruiter asked for it or it is given in your job description then you must include references.
You can include references with the following information:
- Reference’s Name
- Professional Position
- Name of the Company
- Phone Number of Reference
- Email Address of Reference
Whether you are looking for a job or not it is always a good practice to keep your reference list ready. Because if you are required with references on short notice it will be difficult for you to find out or to shortlist the best references for yourself.
It is important that you choose your references appropriately. The recruiter will not contact all of your references but if in case they will then they will look for the first one so choose wisely.
An HR.com report says that 86% of recruiters conduct a background check through different means. For example education background checks, references check, etc.
You can use the following format to make your reference list.
Your Name Phone Number Email Address Professional References #1 Reference’s Name Professional Position Name of the Company Phone Number of Reference Email Address of Reference #2 Reference’s Name Professional Position Name of the Company Phone Number of Reference Email Address of Reference Personal References (if any) #1 Reference’s Name Professional Position Name of the Company Phone Number of Reference Email Address of Reference
Your Name Phone Number Email Address Professional References #1 Doris Lewis Marketing Head ABC Pvt. Ltd. xxxxxxxx97 email@example.com #2 Jennie Brown Senior Associate XYZ Company xxxxxxx88 firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Format a Reference Page on Profile?
You should format your references section suitably just like your resume or cover letter. To make a perfect cover letter check my guide on creating a cover letter.
It is another important document that adds value to your profile. You can make a separate page for your references at the last of your resume. Keep the format of the reference page the same just like the resume and cover letter.
Start at the top of the page with your name and contact information like email address, phone number, etc. You can place this information at the center or at the left corner of the page. Check how you put this information on your resume.
Up next you can include your references details as explained above. If you are using professional and personal references then you can add subtitles like “Professional references” “Personal references”.
Make sure that you are using the same format throughout the page.
Who is the Good Reference for your List?
You can ask your bosses, Manager, Supervisor, Coworker, and Professor for references. You should put references from your boss or supervisor at the top of your list as these are the most valuable reference for you. You should have at least three references handy as most of the companies ask for two to three references.
You can also write references from your old or current client or your customer. This can also work in your favor. Before adding references to your list consider some points:
- Which are the most useful references for your profile?
- Who is suitable and who is not suitable for giving you references?
- Which references the best highlight your experiences and skills?
How to Ask for References?
First, you should create a list of people who respect your work and can provide you positive testimonials. Then you can either write an email or do a phone call asking them for references.
You can contact your connections in order of preferences so that you can have at least 4 to 5 good references that can shine your profile. There might be chances that you didn’t hear back from your connections then do not worry and move on to add other people to your list that can add value.
How Many References Should You Have?
In general, you can put two to three references but you can include more references if you are applying for a higher position. You can add up to five-seven references. But make sure all references are relevant and add value to your profile.
Sometimes the company asks for or has written the number of references they want. In such conditions, you can do the same according to the requirement.
Do not include unnecessary references just to increase numbers.
I hope you get all your answers and now you can make good reference lists. When you are done with your hiring process do not forget to say thank you to your references. You can send a simple thank you note or can call your connections and thank them. Professional connections and testimonials can go a long way.
Over to You
Have you ever asked for references by your recruiter? What was your take and how did you create your references lists? Does the above method help you? Please share with us.
I would love to hear from you.