How to Handle References on Your Resume [Full Guide]


applying for jobs, it’s essential to have references on your resume.

who can vouch for you can help you win a job? By speaking to your skills and
character, they’ll let your potential employer know that you’re a worthwhile

you’re curious about how to handle resume references, look no further. We’ll
tell you everything you need to know, and we’ll explain what you should and
shouldn’t do.

get started!

1. Carefully
Select Your References

you want to land your dream job, choose your references carefully.

people you ask should be able to vouch for your skills as an employee. So, it’s
better to ask people with whom you have a professional relationship.

means you shouldn’t ask a family member or friend. Instead, ask a boss,
co-worker, or a professor from your university to recommend you for a position.

should also choose your references based on the job you’re applying for. It’s
best not to ask a boss in an industry that doesn’t line up with the kind of
work you’d like to do.

if you don’t have a lot of job experience, asking a boss in an unrelated the industry is your best option.

2. Get Accurate
Contact Information

If a
person agrees to be a reference, make sure you have the correct contact

won’t be much help if you can’t provide a way for the hiring manager to contact

a list of contact info you should include on your resume:

  • Their
    full name
  • The
    name of the company they work for
  • Their
    current job title
  • Their
    business address
  • Accurate
    contact information such as a phone number and email
  • Their
    relationship to you.

you haven’t spoken to a reference in a while, reach out to them. Make sure that
their address and phone number haven’t changed.

wouldn’t hurt to catch up with them, either. A past co-worker or boss might be
curious about how your career is going. A quick update can give them some
things to discuss when they talk to your hiring manager.

3. List
References Correctly

it or not, there’s actually a correct way to
list references on your resume.

The the hiring manager is likely to call the person at the top of the list first. So,
you should list your references in the order that you want the manager to call

should also make a list specifically for private job searches (more on this

Put References
With Outstanding Reviews on Top

the top of your list, you should put down a few people who you know would give
you a fantastic review.

course, if someone has already agreed to be a reference, they’re going to say
good things about you. But some references may provide better reviews than

likely a hiring manager won’t contact everyone on your list. That’s why you
should list the people who will give you glowing reviews first.

Have a List of
References for Private Job Searches

hard to ask your boss for a reference when you’re still working at the company.
If you’re uncomfortable asking your current boss, use people from past jobs.

your boss finds out you are thinking about quitting, that could be bad news! So
it’s best to keep your
job search discreet by leaving your current
employer out of it.

4. Send Your
Resume to Your References

if someone agrees to be a reference, they may not know everything about you.
Give them a copy of your resume to let them know about all of your

they can probably attest to your skills as an employee. But if they want to
reference your other skills, your resume will help them to do so.

you’ve written a
strong resume,it should outline your talents, skills, and experiences. Your
references can refer to it while they’re talking to your hiring manager.

order to highlight all of your skills and accomplishments, your references need
to have a copy.

note: If you know if a company will contact your reference soon, give them a
heads up.

Only Provide References if Necessary

send references unless a job description asks for them. The manager won’t call
them until the very end of the hiring process, so they don’t need them right

you are invited to interview for the position, then you should bring your list.
If the hiring manager requests it via email, be sure to send it over in a
timely fashion.

in mind that a hiring manager might not ask for them during your interview. Or,
they might wait until they’ve narrowed down their list of candidates to a few
people before they reach out to references.

of the scenario, it doesn’t hurt to go into the interview prepared. But, it’s best
not to offer up your references unless they ask.


you apply for jobs, you need to have a list of people who can vouch for you.
This is how your future employer will verify that you’re a strong candidate.

careful thought into your choices. Based on who you select, make sure you have
their correct contact information.

references can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants when you’re
applying for work. Even though not all companies ask for them, it never hurts
to have some people lined up just in case.

it’s time to get to work. Start jotting down the names of some people who are
aware of your value. You’re a talented, hard-working professional, so they’ll
have no problem putting in a good word for you!

Author Bio:

Angus Flynn
has five years of Property Management experience. His ability to consistently
deliver white-glove service to his residents and prospects has propelled him
into a successful career that now finds him leading the team at 837 Harvard.

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