When creating a resume, references are much more important than you may believe. Those references that can vouch for your talents and abilities can make a great impact, and even determine whether an employer hires you for the position. Unfortunately, many people believe that this section isn’t really a big deal, and that a hiring manager would never call references or contact them to learn more about you ‘ you can be certain that if they are hiring for an important position, they will contact the references listed on your resume.
While it is acceptable in most cases to simply state ‘references available upon request’ at the bottom of your resume, you may want to learn how to write this section if you do decide to include them. You should actually only include a list or page of references if a potential employer asks for it in the job advertisement.
How to gather references for your resume
Many people list friends or family members, but this is not advisable if you want to present yourself as a professional to an employer. What you want to do is contact about 3 to 5 people that you have worked with previously, or even those in supervisory positions that know of your skills and accomplishments. When you contact them, explain a little about the position you are applying for so that they will be familiar with it should the company call checking your references. It is a good idea to mix professional and personal references, as the employer can get an idea of your personality traits and characteristics as well as your job skills.
It is a good idea to choose references carefully, as they can be a great marketing tool on your behalf. Choose those who really know and appreciate your talents, and who can communicate their praise well to an employer. This can be a strong selling point on your behalf! Family, friends and previous employers or supervisors are not the only good candidates for references; think of vendors, professors, customers and other acquaintances.
Also, always check with those you plan to use for references to make sure it is okay for you to give their contact information to a potential employer.
Set up your resume references document
Once you have contacted those you plan to use as references, create a separate document. You can place a heading at the top of the page stating ‘Professional Reference List’ or something to that effect. Below this, list the name, address, phone number and email address of each reference separately. Some people also choose to include a short description describing their relationship with the person, and how long you have known them.
When writing the page for your references, you want to keep your document in the same style as your resume as far as headings, fonts, spacing, etc. so that it all looks uniform and projects a professional image. Use these tips when searching out your references and including them on your resume for additional enforcement that just might land you the job.