Hiring managers often require candidates to provide a reference for resumes as a way to verify their experience or learn more about how they might fit into the workplace. Choosing references who can vouch for your professional potential and your personality in the workplace is critical to a compelling application.
So how do you write references on a resume, and how when should you present this list to the hiring manager? Find out how to prepare and format references for a written or video resume and get a resume sample with references to help you create your own.
References are people who can assure prospective employers about your professional abilities and skills. They're typically people who have worked with you directly and who can give hiring managers specific examples of your experience and qualifications. Most people who serve as references also have a sense of your character and your ambitions.
While you can ask neighbors and friends of the family to vouch for your experience and skills, you should prioritize professional references on a resume. Always use the most impressive references you have from the best-known organizations. With high-quality references, you can better impress the hiring manager, even in the absence of in-person interviews in the era of COVID-19.
You should also strive to choose references who can confirm your cultural fit or working personality. After all, 90% of recruiters have turned down candidates due to poor cultural fit, according to Cubiks.
If you already have career experience, you should list references like:
If you're new to the job market or if you have limited experience, you can list:
As a general rule, you should provide three to five references. Many employers prefer to have a wider range of people who can inform the vetting process. In addition, providing at least three references ensures that hiring teams have enough contacts to get a good understanding of how you work.
However, you should always defer to the job application. If the hiring manager specifies a different number of references, follow the instructions. After all, providing too many or too few could disqualify you from the application process.
In a video resume, your references appear in a separate tab, alongside your work samples. On a written resume, references go at the very end, after other components like the objective, work experience, and education history. In most cases, references should be on a separate page apart from the rest of the written resume.
When you first apply for a job, you don't usually have to include references. That's because hiring managers don't need references until the later stages of the hiring process. In fact, they usually require references only from the top candidates who make it past the first stages of the interview process.
If you're applying for a freelance job or if the listing requests references, continue the application process and provide all the necessary materials at once. Most freelance or independent contractor roles require you to submit references with your application.
Before you make a reference page for a resume, follow these steps to create an up-to-date reference list:
To make your reference list look as professional as possible, you must format it properly. Use these tips to present your references:
Seeing resume examples with references can inspire you to create a professional list of your own. Use the sample below as a template for your references.
123 Main Street
Small Town, ST 12345
ABC Company, Department Manager
Pat was my direct supervisor from 2018 to 2019.
ABC Firm, Regional Manager
Taylor oversaw my region from 2019 to 2020.
ABC Enterprises, Founder
Avery has served as my mentor since 2017.
Whether you're still vetting your references or you're ready to send them to a hiring manager, you can start preparing your list. Build a resume with Jabord and make your job application shine.