sample resume

How to list References in a Resume

A resume needs to have a standard structure and has to include objective, education, experience and skills. The most important thing one has to know is that professional references have to be included only if they are required by the employer. The best thing a candidate can do is to include at the end of the resume a line stating References Available upon Request. The references should not be included on a resume because it is not considered professional and disrupts the reference's privacy rights. The candidates, who think that by listing references on a resume they have an extra and they are more valuable than others, are totally wrong. Their resume won't be considered complete and well written but longer and unprofessional.


Employers rarely ask on- job professional references for a number of reasons; confidentiality being one of them. Employers are aware of the fact that candidates don't want to give the contact information of the persons they gave them references to every job they apply. Before giving any reference it is better for the candidate to know the company and to make sure that the company won't abuse the contact information given.

Another reason for why employers don't ask for references is that the hiring manager has to call all the persons given as a reference. This is a preliminary step and employers usually don't do it. But if they choose to do it thenthey first have to review carefully the resume and seriously considering hiring the person in cause. Also, references are not a part of a resume structure; the resume doesn't contain a section for professional references. In case the applicant is required to give professional references at an interview or as an attachment to an e-mail he has to know how to list them.

The list of references has to be professional, accurate, concise and presentable. It is better to create a separate document for the references with a header entitled "Professional References". Every reference needs to have the following details: the full name, the relation with the applicant, how long has the applicant known the referent, their current job and their phone number.

The candidate can include 3-6 references and they should look like this:

Professional References

Name of the applicant
City, State Zip
Phone, Cell Phone

  1. Name of Reference; Relationship
    How Long Has The Applicant Have Known Them
    Place of Employment
    Contact Number

    The applicant can also list references like this:

  2. Supervisor Name
    Supervisor Relationship
    Company Name
    City, State Zip

In the second format, there is listed a supervisor, but here the applicant can also add colleagues or coworkers. An important thing that the candidate should know when adding references is to prioritize them and to add those that have the most professional relevance, the ones that offer the best characterization of the applicant's activity. Also, the applicant has to be able to offer at least three references for the employer. Anything less than 3 references cannot help the employer to get an idea of the applicant's positive and negative aspects in a workplace. Every reference has to be accurate and contain viable and valid information for the employer.

References should be listed on a resume only if an employer requires the applicant to do so. It is important to include 3-6 references no less than 3 and the candidate should follow one of the standard formats presented

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