“References Available Upon Request”
This is the NUMBER ONE mistake I see on resumes. If you are writing your own resume, you are not to blame. There are STILL organizations out there that recommend this. I am here to set you straight!
List references on a separate page. Do not include them on your resume. Do not reference them on your resume. Save that valuable space for relevant skills and accomplishments.
Your reference sheet should match your resume and cover letter with the same heading and font size. Most organizations will request three professional references, so I recommend you have at least that many ready to go.
Choose three professional references; individuals can speak to the quality of your work, not just the quality of your character. Try to include a current (or former) supervisor who has direct experience with you and can share your strengths and talents.
Very important! Be sure to get permission from your references before listing them to avoid any surprises and ensure you will a receive favorable reference. You should also keep your references aware of your job hunting activities and let them know when you have secured a position.
According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, information verified in personal reference checks most often includes:
- Former employers (job titles, dates of employment, salary information)
- Degrees, school attendance, and academic accomplishments
- Responsibilities in previous positions held
The two items most likely to derail a job offer are discrepancies in dates of previous employment and degrees earned. These are also two of the easiest items to check, as they can be verified directly.
When listing references, include:
- Name (I like to include Mr. or Ms.)
- business mailing address
- telephone number (office and/or cell)
- email address
So it would read:
Mr. John Smith
AZY Accounting, Inc.
1234 Main Street
Any City, Any State, any zip
Relationship: Former Supervisor
In addition to your list of references and contact information, you may also want to consider providing a hard copy of your LinkedIn Recommendations.
“Résumés win interviews, but references win job offers,”Martin Yate, author of the “Knock ‘Em Dead” career books.