Having a list of professional contacts who can verify your strengths and character can work to your advantage, especially if you have eminent individuals who can vouch for your qualifications and personal attributes. It can be tempting to always list your references in your resume, but there are certain situations in which you should include them and others in which you shouldn’t. Here are some tips for successfully incorporating your references in your resume format.
Before you begin compiling your list of references in your resume format, contact the individuals who you would like to include beforehand in order to ask for their permission and to give them plenty of time to prepare. Explain the nature of the job that you’re applying for, and if there are specific strengths that you would like them to expound on, be as specific as possible. The references you list in your resume format are highly important; always assume that the employer will contact each one and make each one count.
Don’t List References in Your Resume Format
Only include information that’s necessary to give the employer a better feel for your background and your strengths. Your education, training, certifications and credentials will speak volumes about your job-worthiness, but your resume is only the first step in the job application process. The employer may request a list of references after he or she has deemed, based on your resume and interview performance, that you would be of value to the company.
Exceptions to Including References in Your Resume Format
While the general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t include references directly in your resume, there are a few exceptions to the rule. For example, if one of your references is a well-known person at the company you’re applying at, go ahead and include him or her on your resume. A similar situation would be if your reference were a very highly regarded individual within the industry that you’re trying to get into. Also, if the application specifically requests that you include your references, obviously do so.
How to Let the Employer Know that You Have References
Placing the phrase, “References available upon request” at the end of your resume is unnecessary because an employer already assumes that you wouldn’t be applying for the job if you could not enlist any professional references. Instead of including references in your resume format, keep them on a separate piece of paper and take it with you to the interview so you’ll have it at hand if the employer wants it. If you feel they will strengthen your candidacy, you may offer to provide references while you are having an in-person interview.
Creating Your List
If you are asked for a list of references, use the same letterhead template that you’ve used for your resume. You’ll need a minimum of three business recommendations who can provide valuable insight into your job performance and personal qualities. Consider former supervisors, teachers, well-respected professionals and even coworkers. When you’re listing references in your resume format, include their name, company and title, business address, full phone number and business email address.
If you’ve had a particular reference for over a year, call to verify that you still have the right phone number and other information. Also, state the nature of your relationship with each reference so that it will be easier for the employer to decide which ones they should contact first. As you would with your resume and cover letter, use a neat style and organizational layout when presenting your professional references.
Whenever you’re working on your list of references, you might find the additional information at LiveCareer to be helpful.