Including References on Your Resume: A Guide (Examples)

Referees are not recommended on resumes, according to industry experts and potential employers. It would be best if you mentioned references only on a separate page. Our references page examples and templates can help you get started.

reference on resume

Is it necessary to include references on a resume?

Most companies do not require references, so do not provide any on your CV or in your application unless specifically requested to do so by the hiring manager. Companies will ask for a thorough list of professional references from you during the recruiting process, indicating that they are seriously considering you as a candidate.

Referees are only required to be listed on an actual resume when drafting a federal resume because federal agencies require that every applicant be adequately verified.Include references for every position you have held if you are applying for government jobs.

If the job description or hiring manager explicitly requests a list of references, you may be required to provide them with your application. If you are required to compose a resume reference page, you must understand how to do it correctly. We’ll show you how to do it.

How to make a reference list

Before you start your job search, compile a list of your professional references into a “Professional Reference Page.” Each reference should include their name, title, company, phone number, and email.

Do not include the phrase “resume references available upon request” in the body of your application. In addition to taking up precious real estate, this outmoded practice reiterates something that every recruiting manager already knows.

Instead, construct a separate references page from your CV and send it to your application as a distinct attachment.

The references should be listed as follows:

References should be formatted according to the following guidelines:

  • First and last name
  • Professional title
  • Company / University your reference works at
  • Full address of your reference’s company/university
  • Phone number
  • Email address

As hire managers do not call snail mail references, it is never a good idea to provide your address on your reference page. Additionally, references will insist that their information not be shared with anyone.

It is essential to provide a brief statement explaining your relationship with the reference, together with how long you have known or worked with them. On the reference page of your resume, you should include this statement.

Save yourself time by filling out our resume references template yourself.

Download Reference Page Template 

Example of a reference page for a resume 

Have a look at this example of a correctly prepared references list for a resume so you can see how a reference list should be prepared:

In this case, the applicant has coordinated the design of her reference page with the design of her CV.

Whenever you need to include your CV and a list of references, ensure that the style and layout are similar to the rest of the application.

How many references do you need?

The majority of candidates for employment should provide three to four references on their references section or page.

It is recommended that you include five to seven references if you are applying for a position that requires thorough screening, such as a senior-level post.

However, keep in mind that all of your recommendations should be of excellent caliber. You should ensure that each reference can speak directly to the quality of your professional skills and your personal character. Do not include additional references only to increase the total number of references.

Who should be cited as a reference

People find it difficult to decide which references to list on their resume

To make it easier to understand, below is a list of the most critical individuals to put on your reference page, in descending order of importance:

  • Bosses
  • Coworkers
  • Professors
  • Professors

Consider placing your current or previous boss at the top of your list of references, if at all possible. Most companies view supervisors or bosses as in-depth references since they are the most knowledgeable about your job skills, talents, and abilities.

Furthermore, you should keep the following points in mind when selecting additional references for your CV:

  • Which of my references is the most relevant to the position for which I am applying?
  • Do I have any references that are employed in the industry in which I am applying?
  • Which of my possible references would be the most effective in highlighting my relevant skills?
  • Who is not a good candidate to serve as a reference for this particular position?

Can you use a buddy as a personal reference for your application? 

The general recommendation is not to use friends as references for your CV. Exempt from this rule are former colleagues, those currently employed by the company you are applying to, or those who have approved your application. In some instances, naming your buddy as a reference is appropriate to practice.

If this is your first job, you may not know who to call for a reference. 

Finding a suitable set of professional references might be challenging for a student or recent graduate just starting. So, if you don’t have any work experience and no references, you can mention the following:

  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Coach
  • Teacher
  • Coordinator of interns
  • a person who provides guidance

A family member or friend for whom you have performed work But, before requesting any of the persons listed above to serve as your reference, please ensure that your references have sufficient experience working with you for them to be an explicit endorsement of your abilities.

If it is not your professional abilities, at the very least, each reference should be able to speak to the high caliber of your character.

Create the ideal list of references for your project (if necessary)

Provide a solid, tailored reference list to employers if they ask for references, which will increase your chances of getting recruited over other final candidates.

And, whether you land the job or not, make sure to express your gratitude to your references. They take time out of their busy schedules to assist you in persuading an employer that you are the most qualified candidate for the job. The very minimum they deserve is a heartfelt thank you message.