references on your resume

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Job Pixie   >   Cover Letter + Resume Tips   >   Resume Basics   >   References

There are two schools of thoughts about what to write in the References section of your resume. One school suggests that you should include the list of your referees and their contact details within the resume itself, whereas the other school recommends that you simply include a statement such as "References available on request".
  • The argument for including references within your resume is that this approach is much preferred by most potential employers. This is because they have the information immediately, can contact you references directly whenever they want, and perhaps most importantly, by including the referees' contact information, you have indicated your supreme confidence in the quality of your references.

  • The downside to include reference contact details within your resume is that you post a copy of your resume at online job sites, or allow recruitment firms to circulate your resume, before you know it, your referees may be experiencing a blizzard of telephone calls. However good your relationship with your referees, this is probably a bit too much to ask! In any case, even if your referees genuinely don't mind these calls, in order for them to give you the best reference possible, you want to tell them about the specific job or jobs that you applying for, in advance of any phone calls.
The best policy is therefore usually a compromise; when applying for a specific job, include the full contact details of you references, but when circulating your resume online, through job sites, recruitment firms, or in any form where it is likely to reach multiple employers, include a phrase such "references available on request". If you are then contacted or asked for an interview by a firm that has not seen the version of your resume with references, you can always send them a copy or take a print-out of your resume to the interview.

In all cases, before putting somebody's name down as a referee, you should of course ask their permission. It is also a good idea to tell them about the specific positions and companies that you are applying for - so that if contacted, they can answer questions in the way that presents you in the best possible light. For each person in the reference list, be sure to include the person's name, job title, company that they are working for, relationship with you, and daytime contact telephone number.

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