Thoughtful, organized and professional references remain a crucial component in the successful job search.
A common practice is to refer to your references on the tag line "References available upon request" at the very bottom of the resume. This standard way to close your resume may be omitted for space considerations. Customarily, if an employer wishes to check your references, they will ask your permission and their names and addresses, regardless if this on your resume or not.
Choose your references with care. It is essential that you select individuals who can articulate positively about your abilities/skills for the specific position(s) for which you are applying. Don't go over board! Limit you reference page to three to five individuals who can speak on your behalf.
What is the best manner to represent your references? Traditionally, a formal letter of recommendation has been the standard. However, employers are increasingly using verbal confirmation of references or both. Be prepared for all scenarios. Request a formal letter of recommendation and supplement that with a reference sheet that lists the individual serving on your behalf.
- Always ask permission of the persons serving as your references prior to providing of their name and contact information to an employer
- Do not use any personal references, i.e., friends. unless requested from an particular employer.
The reference sheet is a separate page form your resume that will list only your references. Replicate a heading similar to your resume and title the page "References" two to three line below your contact information. Your references sheet should be printed on the same quality and color paper as your resume and cover letter.
Reference Sheet What to Include:
Option: You may cite your relationship and how they know you.
- Reference name and title
- Organization / company they work for
- Address (street, city, state, zip)
- Work phone
- Email address
If a letter is required, ask only those individuals who know you well enough to write a meaningful reference.
- It is extremely helpful to provide your reference writers with a copy or draft of your resume. This is not only a courtesy but also helps them structure the reference to your professional aspirations.
- Always indicate to our reference writers what it is you are seeking: employment or graduate school.
- If possible provide your reference a description of the job or graduate program.
- Try an establish a date by which your reference writers expect to have completed and returned your references.
- Provide your reference a sufficient lead time!