Ask your references before including them in your job search--and never put their names on your resume.

How to List References on a Resume? Deliver this Extra Page in Your Interview

How to List References on a Resume? Deliver this Extra Page in Your Interview

Knowing how to list references on a resume is one of the most important things to know for a candidate. The reference list holds a lot of weight, as it can set one applicant apart from hundreds of others. Some companies might ask for references initially because they want to check references before they even call potential candidates for interviews. Others more typically wait to ask for your references at the time of the interview. Thus, you should not include references on a resume you are sending out as part of a job application.

How to List References on a Resume by Type

Many types of references exist:

Ask your references before including them in your job search--and never put their names on your resume.
Ask your references before including them in your job search–and never put their names on your resume. By: thetaxhaven
  • The colleague: Your colleague has worked side-by-side with you. This person can offer a great deal of insight about the person’s personality, dedication and the like.
  • The supervisor: The supervisor, or the manager, is the person to whom you reported. You might not want to choose a current manager to serve as a reference, as this might “give you away” as a job seeker; instead, ask a former manager with whom you have had a good relationship.
  • The customer: Certain positions allow workers to get close to their customers, and those customers can provide references for them.
  • The personal reference: Acquaintances and friends can serve as personal references, although these might not carry the same weight or influence as does the reference of a professional connection.

How to List References on a Resume

First, include your references not on your resume but on a separate sheet, with the same letterhead as that presented on your resume and cover letter. For each reference you are listing, include the reference’s full name, the position that the person held, and that person’s current email and / or phone number. Also helpful to include are the number of years that the reference has known you as well as a description of the nature of your business relationship and its context. For example, you could write that you worked under one of your references as an opening or closing assistant in a retail environment, particularly if you are seeking a retail position.

For example, if you are including John Smith as a reference, you might present his information like this:

John Smith, Professional Resume Writer, Everyday Resumes, (800) 300-4336, jsmith@everydayresumes.com

I worked for Mr. Smith for 5 years as a professional resume writer with Everyday Resumes.

Some Special Notes about References for Your Job Search

Most employers will not accept family members as references, but they will accept friends if those friends can give a reference that pertains to the job. For example, a high school or university friend could attest to the applicant’s membership in a sports clubs, student associations, and leadership, which could help someone who is applying for a coaching position.

A second special note concerns asking your references to recommend you before you send their names to your future employer. On the one hand, you can politely ask their permission to use their names, which can be beneficial to your strategy, not to mention your professional relationship. On the other, and if they agree to serve as a reference, you can coach them on what aspects of your business relationship would be most helpful or interesting to your future manager.

How to List References on a Resume with Help from a Professional Resume Writing Service

A professional resume writing service is full of professionals who are experienced, articulate, and resourceful. They can help you choose your references and design a resume layout that you also can use on your reference sheet.

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