When putting together employment references for your resume, the first thing you should know is that a separate references page is preferable to including your references directly on the resume document itself. In addition to making a more professional presentation, a separate references page lets you change the references you use on a case-by case basis depending on the job you’re targeting without having to redo your resume with each submittal.
Format for the References Page of a Resume
Use the same heading at the top of your references page as you use at the top of your resume. Just “cut and paste” your resume heading to the top of a new page. If you do the same with your cover letter, you’ll have an attractive and professional-looking package. Center the heading “References” an inch or two below your top heading. Below that, list your references, centered on the page. The information about your references to include on your references page includes:
- Name of Company
- Company mailing address
- Company telephone number
- Company email address
What References Should I Include on My References Page?
The best references to use on your references page are those people who have direct personal knowledge of your work performance. This includes supervisors, department heads, and others who give you work assignments and who monitor/review your work efforts.
The least valuable references to include on your references page are friends and family members. Generally, they don’t know anything about your work performance and their opinions about you tend to not be very objective. Don’t include those at all.
Other possibilities to include on your references page include co-workers if they held positions of responsibility and business contacts at other companies if they were people you worked with as part of your job duties.
Please contact all of your references and ask them for permission to be placed on your reference list. Some companies have strict policies on providing a work reference. If this is the case, make sure that you provide performance reviews or other similar documents to speak for that time in your employment history. Another idea is to contact a co-worker or supervisor that no longer works for the company and ask them to provide a work reference. In short, all people on your reference list should be contacted prior to putting on the list.
How Many References Should I Include On My References Page?
There’s no right or wrong answer to how many references to include on your references page. As a general rule of thumb, three references are probably not enough and 7 are probably too many. But use your own judgment on this. Sometimes prospective employers will tell you how many and what type of references they want. If you’re asked to submit references, it’s OK to ask what type and how many references to include on your references page.
Please contact me today to order a detailed resume critique. My critique will give you the tools you need to bring your resume to the next level.