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How To Write References On Your Resume

Ah, the beloved reference section! The part of a resume that unfortunately often goes uncared for and is viewed as rather unimportant. After all, what are the chances a hiring manager is really going to contact one of them? Well, we are here to let you know, that the chance is very high! If you make it to the final round of resumes pulled from the heaping pile of applicants, the only thing that sets you apart from another candidate is your interview and your references. Your references gives potential employers the opportunity to find out what other people really think about you. Someone can write all the positive things in the world about themselves on their resume and pull out all the wow factors in an interview, but references give hiring managers the ability to confirm those things are true. Your references are meant to support those positive things, and give the employer a peek at how you are seen by other people.

How To Choose Your References

Choosing the best references is crucial. If a potential employer calls a reference of yours, you want them to remember who you are, and be somewhat prepared for the call. We recommend compiling a list of your closest colleagues or managers. Pick people who you know were fond of you, and have a real understanding of your work and your achievements. It is not wise to pick a friend or family member and should only be done if absolutely necessary. Why? Because no one believes all of the positive things someone says if you have a very close and personal relationship with them. Nobody's brother is going to tell a prospective employer that they did an “okay” job. So go with professional references if possible.

After you compile a list of your reference choices, call the first three on your list, and confirm that they are willing to serve as a reference for you. Let them know a bit about your job search, and go over any questions they might have.

Properly Format Your References

Luckily, handles all of your formatting worries! Listing your references has never been easier. Simply gather your references and their information and plug it into the reference section. You will want to have their full name, phone number, email address, and employer name. In the case, you are not using one of our convenient templates, you should create a “Reference” at the bottom of the pages or create a separate reference page with three clearly defined sections housing each of your references.


Kelly McHugh from Apex Inc. – 212-923-2012

John Whales from Winston Financial

Linda Samson from Clearwater Channel

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.