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How to List References in a Resume

How to List References in a Resume

Not many employees like working on their resumes. It’s not just about listing your experiences and education, you also have to make sure you’ve got the right keywords to get past the bots. You have to include only relevant information and keep it neither too short nor too long. Another big concern is how to correctly list references in your resume. 

At HiCounselor, we provide our clients with personalized resume guidance so they can impress recruiters even before they meet them. We also like to provide more generalized resume help for our readers. So, read on to find out the right way to list references in a resume. You can get some resume writing tips here.


Why are references important?

Many people fabricate some parts of their resumes. Hiring managers are aware of this and like to check with previous employers to make sure they have the correct information. They generally ask for references so they can verify what you’ve said in your resume before they take your candidacy further. 

When you leave a company, try to do so on a good note. You can also ask for a reference or recommendation letter to show to potential employers. Take any relevant contact information of your supervisors or the HR team so you can provide it when asked. 

Who’s a reference?

When hiring managers ask you for references, they generally want the contact information of at least 2 or 3 people. Your references will generally be people you worked under, like supervisors, managers, team leaders. You can sometimes include colleagues and clients if they’re relevant to your role. If you’re new to the job market, you can even list your teachers as your references. 

References on a resume?

If you’re wondering how to list a reference in your resume, you might want to consider not doing that. It’s generally recommended to keep your resume short, and a list of contacts will only take up unnecessary space. It’s better to use that space to show how your education, skills, and experience make you great for the role.   

Also keep in mind that hiring managers won’t be interested in your references unless they’re seriously considering you for the role. They usually don’t have the time to contact all the references before they interview people. What you can do is add a sentence to your resume to show you’ve got references, like ‘References available upon request’.

Keep your references ready

When you work on your resume, also spend a little time creating a document of your references. This will help you quickly provide the information in case recruiters ask you for it. Generally, you’ll be asked to provide references right before you’re made an offer. When you’re providing the information to the recruiters, you can also let your contacts know to expect a call. Remember to thank your references for taking the time to verify your information.

Reference format

It’s not acceptable to provide incomplete information when providing a list of references to recruiters. You don’t want the hiring managers scrambling around trying to figure out the role of the person or for which company they work. Mention your name on top of the document as well. For each reference, follow this format:

Format Example

Name (Dwight Schrute)

Current Role (Assistant to the Regional Manager)

Your Relationship (Direct Supervisor)

Company Name (Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc.)

Phone Number (1234567890)

Email Address ([email protected])

We hope this guide to including references in your resume helps you create a more acceptable resume. If you’d like more help in finding a job and ensuring your resume and interview skills are up to point, get in touch with us at HiCounselor and one of our experts will gladly assist you!

HiCounselor has forged technical advances to transform the hiring landscape for job seekers and recruiters alike. Our career accelerator program provides job seekers with coaching and mentorship from industry leaders employed at FAANG companies while recruiters ally with HiCounselor to empower their hiring strategy and hone in on the best candidates. Learn more about HiCounselor here and reach out to us on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.