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How you can Do Your References On Resume: Is It Vital?

Kelly Lee
Digital Content Specialist


“References obtainable upon request.”

Heard of this one?

The trite, superfluous phrase was all the trend a long time in the past. These days, you’d barely discover anybody that recommends it.

However what about precise references on resumes?

“Ought to I put references on my resume?” is a typical query you will have even requested your self at one level in your profession.

At Enhancv, we attempt to offer you job search recommendation that will get outcomes. We wish your resume to chop via the noise and land you interviews.


Superior! We’ll information you thru the perils of references on a resume.

On this article, we’ll reply the whole lot it’s essential know:

  • Do it’s essential embrace references in your resume or not?
  • How employer use references
  • How you can ask for a reference
  • What in case you have no references for a resume?
  • What number of references in your resume are good?
  • How you can ship your reference listing
  • How you can listing references on a resume
  • How you can format references on a resume with Enhancv
  • Key takeaways

If you happen to’re questioning the right way to go about itemizing references in your resume, we received you coated.

Let’s dive in.

If you wish to skip the whole article, you possibly can browse confirmed resume examples in your job title by clicking beneath. You may see the way it’s gotten professionals in your trade outcomes and use it in your personal job utility!



Do You Must Embody References On Resumes Or Not?

You’re most likely pondering: ought to I listing references on my resume or not?

The overall reply is not any.

The reality is, you shouldn’t listing them. “References” constitutes an out of date resume section, for the most part. In other words, if you’ve written your resume sections correctly, they should answer the things the hiring manager would be looking for in your resume references in the first place.

The main purpose an employer uses references on a resume is to prove your resume isn’t a farce (we’ll look at this in more detail in the section).

Unless the job description explicitly requires you to do so, then you should be putting references on your resume. And, usually, that happens if you’re applying for legal or federal jobs.

Other than that, it’s a waste of valuable space.

Often, it’s better to leave references off your resume and let your prospective employer ask for them.


You’ll be in control of your reference list. That means you can choose the most relevant referees, determine their order on the list, and give them a heads-up.

Here’s the deal:

Your resume is your most powerful personal marketing tool. If your job search was an NBA team, your resume would be the MVP.

You should treat it as such.

When putting references on a resume, they’re normally placed near the end of the hiring process.

The majority of job ads don’t request references. Neither do hiring managers expect to see them during initial applications.

So, when are references appropriate?

Let’s see how it’s like on the other side.

How employers use references

Do employers even call your references?

According to a 2019 survey by, 96% of employers carry out not less than one kind of background test. Referees vouch in your competence and character.

So, likelihood is they’re going to name one among yours, at a minimal.

Don’t fret, although, it’s a great signal in the event that they do.

See, the majority of employers do contact references on a resume (or a separate doc) if you make the shortlist. It’s a typical factor that occurs after they’re about to ship you a proposal.

What do they ask your referees?

Primarily, employers are all for ensuring you’re the superior candidate you appeared on paper and in the course of the interview. They’ll need to find out about issues like your employment dates, efficiency on the job, work ethics, and why you left your earlier employer.

It’s clear it’s essential select your referees rigorously.

And that leads as much as…

How you can Ask For A Reference

Navigating the recruitment funnel is a bit like enjoying chess.

You have to be a couple of strikes forward to have any probability of getting a proposal. This goes for resume references too.

So, how do you go about requesting references in your resume?

Properly, it’s essential:

  • Decide who needs to be a reference in your resume;
  • Observe reference-request etiquette.

Each steps are essential to place the chances in your favor when making use of for jobs.

1. Decide who needs to be a reference in your resume

How do you determine? Properly, it is determined by the circumstances.

Do you at present have a job? Perhaps you’re all for discovering a extra rewarding place or simply seeing what’s on the market.

On this case, don’t listing your boss as a reference.

Doing so may put you in danger.

Though potential employers ought to request permission beforehand, you don’t need to take the possibility of your employer realizing about your plans.

Are you in between jobs?

Then it’s high quality should you listing a earlier employer as a reference. Provided that you’re sure they’ll offer you a glowing testimonial, although.

Both manner, choose referees that put you in the perfect gentle doable.

For instance, If you happen to’re not on good phrases with a earlier supervisor, choose a coworker that might communicate extremely of you.

Keep away from private references as their opinions of you might be biased. Go for skilled references corresponding to your present or former managers, colleagues, professors, and even prospects. Listing the newest, related references.

Usually, the hiring managers aren’t all for referees you’ve labored with 15 years in the past.

2. Observe reference-request etiquette

Okay, you understand the who. However, what concerning the how?

What your referees say about you need to intently match or enhance upon what’s in your resume.

Naturally, this implies being aware of who’s in your reference listing. It’s best to have them on deck previous to sending job functions.

Right here’s the way you select your references on a resume:

Achieved? Nice!

Now, right here’s the way you ask somebody to be your reference:

If they are saying no, thank them for his or her time, and transfer on to the subsequent particular person.

If they are saying sure, although, present gratitude. Paint a transparent image of what they need to anticipate as your references.

Ship them your resume, the job you’re making use of for, and any useful particulars. Inform your referees that they might get a name, obtain an e-mail, or be requested to put in writing a suggestion letter inside a month or two.

Now, you know the way to pick out referees and request references, which leaves us with one other piece of the jigsaw.

What in case you have no references for a resume?

That’s uncommon, like actually uncommon.

It might be unlucky, however don’t despair.

Most individuals you’ve labored or executed enterprise with make respectable references. This doesn’t simply apply to the skilled work atmosphere, it additionally works should you’re a scholar or a brand new school graduate.

(Facet observe: if that is your first time writing a job resume, you may discover our separate guide here useful!)

As a quick recap, this includes:

If you can’t get one professional reference, personal references work too.

These are people who can vouch for your character, which is becoming more important in the workforce today.

Can’t do that either?

Suggest a probation period or freelance work so you can prove yourself. This can be effective because you’re offering potentially great performance at minimal risk to the employer.

Whatever you do, don’t pay for someone to pose as your reference.

How many references on your resume are good?

If possible, five. However, three references are the minimum.

Most jobs require one to three for a resume. But, it’s better if you had five to seven references, especially if you’re after executive or senior roles.

Whichever the number, the list of your references need to be in the order of relevance.

How to send your reference list

When deciding how to send your reference list, you can do so by either:

When placing references on a resume, be sure to don’t cramp or drive issues in. The fact is, resume references aren’t obligatory.

In reality, in case you have a one-page resume, you’re higher off leaving it out.

In spite of everything, it’s valuable area. As we talked about earlier, in case your employers need to see references, make it clear by immediately asking you to incorporate them.

How you can Listing References On Resume

Your resume references aren’t the deciding issue for whether or not or not you land your subsequent job place. That being stated, there are proper and improper methods for itemizing your references on a resume.

Within the case you need to embrace references, they need to solely be on the second web page of your resume. In any other case, as talked about, utterly omit them out of your utility within the first place.

So, what ought to the resume references part seem like?

Primary References Template For Your Resume

Going with a separate listing? Right here’s how you place it collectively.

Reference title

Skilled title

Firm title

Avenue deal with

Metropolis, State, Zipcode

Cellphone quantity

Electronic mail deal with


The deal with is your referee’s, not their firm’s. Be sure that each element is present.

What to say within the description? Write a few strains stating your relationship with the particular person.

A little bit not sure? Right here’s an instance of a reference listing in motion:

Elon Musk



1 Rocket Street

Hawthorne, California, 90250

(213) 555-5555

[email protected]

“Elon was my boss throughout my stint at SpaceX from 2007 to 2011. I used to be a part of the workforce that launched the primary privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to achieve orbit.”

Such a fortunate break having Elon as your reference, proper?

Issues generally is a lot much less favorable…

The one drawback of utilizing the identical previous resume template for references like that is that it’s generic. Because it’s conventional and the hiring managers are used to seeing it 1000’s of occasions, you received’t be making a robust impression.

As an alternative, we’ll present you a stronger different.

How you can Format References On Resume With Enhancv

First, flick thru Enhancv’s resume examples and seize a confirmed template in your job place.

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

Subsequent, you’ll be taken to a web page that guides you thru the right way to create a resume in your particular trade. If you land on this web page, click on on the “use this instance” button:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?


Now you might have entry to a confirmed resume template in your job place that’s gotten candidates such as you employed. You’ll be inside Enhancv’s editor app which ought to seem like this:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

When you’ve made it this far, you’re free to rephrase and alter the knowledge with your individual particulars. Constructing a resume like that is a lot simpler than beginning on a clean canvas. To create a resume references part, you merely change the resume part heading to “references” and embrace them.

Right here’s how this will look:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

It’s actually easy – simply add their contact particulars. You’re free so as to add a brief description however I don’t suggest it as a result of area is sacred.

Apart from, the knowledge shall be proven any via the related resume sections e.g. work expertise in the event that they’re executed accurately.

If you spotlight key particulars by utilizing coloration, it improves the resume format because it’s simpler to skim via. Not solely do you save the hiring supervisor time by serving to them discover what they’re searching for, however they’ll discover the important thing particulars first.

Since references on a resume aren’t obligatory and so they’re solely actually wanted if the hiring managers ask for it, you need to substitute this part with one thing else.

One which’s extra significant and leaves a stronger impression in your recruiter…

Let’s have a look at one customized resume part Sebastian has used from Enhancv on our enterprise knowledge analyst resume instance:

Enhancv How to Do Your References On Resume: Is It Important?

While your work expertise part covers the outcomes of your contribution, your achievements will also be used for emphasis.

For the document, achievements are solely one among many different resume sections on the market which you should use to showcase your expertise or {qualifications}. You may change the heading to certifications or accomplishments – these work too.

Both manner, this makes your success extra important.

On prime of that, it’ll be a brand new kind of resume for a recruiter to see. When employers see an applicant with a special kind of utility that’s trendy and inventive, it received’t be simple to neglect who you might be.

That is one motive why Enhancv’s trendy resume templates excel at getting candidates employed in aggressive job openings.

If employers need proof, that’s after they’ll ask you for a reference.

When this occurs, you possibly can relaxation assured you made higher use of the area reasonably than together with references.

This isn’t one other plain, black and white, boring resume hiring managers see on daily basis.

It’s completely different.

And, should you’re seeking to stand out and get employed then I recommend you give this a attempt. Constructing a resume with Enhancv is simple and above all, it’s free.

What have you ever received to lose?

Key Takeaways

DO: embrace your references in your resume if it’s a transparent job utility requirement made by the hiring supervisor

DON’T: sacrifice area in your resume for a references part when it’s not vital

Bear in mind, it’s your resume utility that will get your foot within the door. Not the one part based mostly in your references – that’s not the deciding issue.

Your references on a resume is a treacherous path that appears deceivingly simple to transverse.

However, it’s essential know the who, when, how, and the place to provide you with a great reference listing. And, as you’d anticipate all of it begins with who your references are.

So, remember to select your references correctly.


Have you ever realized something new from our information? When you have any questions or something you need to add, do tell us within the feedback beneath!


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