All Messages

How to create a professional reference page

  1. Home
  2. Wedding Anniversary Wishes
  3. How to create a professional reference page
How to create a professional reference page
October 05, 2018 Wedding Anniversary Wishes No comments

Explains how many references to list and who to ask to be a personal reference. it was used to create this Sample Professional/Personal Job Reference Page.

A resume reference list is a document that provides contact and background information on professional references. Recruiters and hiring managers may contact people on your reference list during the hiring process to learn more about your professional history, job performance and other details about the kind of employee you may be if hired.

Create a Resume on Indeed

While some employers may ask you to submit resume references as part of the application process, others may ask after a phone screening, face-to-face interview or before the final step in the hiring process. No matter when an employer asks for references, it’s helpful to prepare a list of several reliable contacts who are able to communicate your best professional attributes.

Related: How to Email a Resume

How to write a resume reference list

As you begin putting together a list of references for employers to call on during the hiring process, ask yourself the following questions to guide your document.

Determine how many references to include

The number of references you list depends on your career level. For example, if you’re entering the job market for the first time, you may only need to list three references. However, if you’re applying for a more senior role, you will want to consider a longer reference list with contacts from different points in your professional history. Often, employers will provide instruction on how many references they’d like to hear from—in this case, follow any guidance you’re given during the hiring process.

Keep in mind that the recruiter may not contact all references on your list. In some cases, they may only call one or two. But having a selection of different types of references ensures they have plenty to choose from if one of your references is unavailable.

Select your resume references

When selecting resume references, consider people who can speak to your best qualities, skills and qualifications. If possible, choose people who can discuss talents specific to the job you’re applying for.

Generally, the best people to include as references are:

  • Current or former manager or direct supervisor
  • Current or former co-worker
  • Current or former employees/direct reports
  • Academic advisor
  • Professional mentor

When thinking through who to include on your reference list, make sure you are comfortable with these people knowing you are looking for a new job, especially if they are someone you currently work with.

Decide how to send your reference list

The only time you should send your reference list with your resume is if the job posting explicitly requests references with the application. Otherwise, wait until a recruiter or hiring manager makes the request. Save space on your resume by removing “references available upon request”—recruiters will request this list if and when they need it during the hiring process. If you’re looking for additional guidance while creating your resume, review Indeed’s list of resume samples.

Ask your contacts to be a reference

It’s important you ask your contacts to be a reference before you provide their names. Not only is this a common courtesy, but it also gives them time to prepare for a phone call or email from the employer. Giving your references plenty of notice also ensures they have time to recall specific examples that highlight why you’re the best candidate for the role.

Whether you call, email or ask your prospective reference in person, be sure it’s something they’re comfortable doing. Your best references will be people who enjoyed working with you and are excited to discuss your talents.

Related: How to Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

How to List References

Here is an example of how you can format your resume list. Consider listing your references in chronological order, starting with the person you worked with most recently.

    Your name
    Your address
    Your phone number
    Your email address

    Reference name
    Reference position
    Reference company
    Reference address
    Reference phone number
    Reference email address

    Reference description including where you worked together, when you worked together and your working relationship.


Resume reference list examples

    Linda Martinez
    Director of Sales, North America
    ABC Company
    1234 Main St
    Austin, TX 78701
    [email protected]

    Linda was my direct manager while I worked as a regional sales manager for the ABC Company from 2013 to 2017.
    Joseph Smith
    Professor, McCombs School of Business
    The University of Texas at Austin
    2110 Speedway
    Austin, TX 78712
    [email protected]

    Joseph Smith was my professor through numerous courses I completed to earn my Masters of Business Administration.

Your resume list template should follow the same look and feel as your resume, with the same fonts and colors. This way, if you submit them together, it looks consistent and professional.

After completing the hiring process, be sure to thank your reference for assisting you in your effort to find a new job. Whether it’s a quick call, email or a thank you note, it’s important you show gratitude to these important connections. After all, their testimonial can go a long way in helping you land an interview and hopefully a new job.

Was this article helpful?

Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks for the feedback!

40 Professional Reference Page / Sheet Templates Whenever you make use of an outside source to add to, support or make your ideas.

Help Us Keep Glassdoor Safe

how to create a professional reference page

Letters of recommendation can make or break your ability to get hired. Even if your qualifications are excellent, if your referrals are non existent or negative your chances of finding employment are slim. That said, there are several things you can do to help insure that good references follow your employment trail, and are accessible to potential employers.

1.Identify the right references

If you have no work history or if you are asked for personal references, do not use family or peer group friends. If you feel that one of your parent’s friends knows you well you might consider using them.  Teachers, councilors, TAs and coaches could make strong personal references. But, don’t forget to ask them first.

2. Always ask permission of the person you hope to use as a reference.Never just assume they will say yes.

They may feel uncomfortable talking about you for reasons you may not even guess at. Some companies even have policies that prohibit their employees from saying anything but a confirmation of your employment and the dates of your employment.

3. Help them out.

You may want to list some skills, accomplishments or character traits that you think would apply and send the list to your references for their use. Also include the dates of your employment. Sometimes, people can be busy or distracted or forgetful and it is helpful for them to have a list in front of them when they write or talk about you. If they disagree with something you have put on the list, they can always leave it out.

4. If possible, obtain a letter of recommendation before you leave your internship or job.

You can ask for the referral during the all important exit interview or anytime before you leave.  What you don’t want is for your boss to move on from the company and disappear into the mist at some later date without a way for you to contact them.

5. Conduct an exit interview.

(See the section on how to conduct your exit). The exit interview will be a good opportunity to go over the company’s expectations and how they were met or exceeded by your accomplishments. You, also, will have refreshed their memory about how wonderful you are so they can say some very nice things about you.

6. Don’t burn any bridges upon leaving.

If you want to leave recommendations for change then do so carefully and with tact. Limit your discussion to issues that might make the next intern’s experience even better. Never, ever complain about any individual or incident, and make sure that you make any suggestions positive in tone and content.

7. You might consider having your boss’s recommendations posted on a professional networking site or on Facebook.

Such a site allows you have the references for public view for all of posterity. If you don’t like what someone says about you, you can simply erase it.

8. You do not need to say “references available upon request” on your resume or cover letter.

Employers know they can ask for them. If the references are available on a professional network, however, you could mention that in your cover letter and supply the specific link to your specific reference page.

9. Keep in touch.

If you worked for a company that refuses to give a reference because it is against company policy, do not despair. It is often possible to contact an employee after they have left the company and get a reference then.  Make sure you keep up with your boss or colleagues so you know where and when to reach them.

10. Don’t ask for references from someone who may give you a negative review.

A negative review from a reference can look really bad. This is someone you have hand selected as able to attest to your strong characteristics as a worker and a person. Make sure your references are coming from someone you can trust, who has openly commended you in the past, and ideally someone who has willingly offered to be a reference

11. Keep a list of five references handy so they can be quickly and easily emailed to a prospective employer.

Most interviewers want a list of three but you don’t want anything held up if a reference is out of town or for some reason is unreachable. Include in the list:

  1. Their name
  2. Their position (and current position)
  3. The company  (and their current company, if they have left)
  4. Their professional relationship to you (ex. The person you reported to.)
  5. Their contact information…email and phone

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 6 Do’s and Don’ts of Video Interviews and find answers to common interview questions such as Tell Me About Yourself.

office letter writing
Response to retirement letter
thank you note for recommendation letter
Thank you for your email response sample
to whom it may concern letter of recommendation
Special thanks for your support
write a letter to company for job
How to apologize to a family member

Writing Your CV’s References Section: Your Questions Answered

how to create a professional reference page

Do you have a list of references ready to provide to prospective employers? If not, you should line up references who can speak to your credentials and qualifications for a job, so you’re prepared when you’re asked for them.

During the job application process, you will most likely be asked for references who can attest to your qualification for the job. Typically, this request either occurs when you initially submit your job application, or later in the application process, when the hiring manager is close to making the decision about which candidate will get the job. The employer will typically specify how many references to include on your list, as well as what contact information you need to provide for each reference.

You will need to format your list of professional references either to include with your application materials, or else to email to the hiring manager later on in the hiring process. The employer will typically advise you on how and when to provide references.

As with all communication with a potential employer, from cover letters to thank you notes, your list of references should be formatted professionally, easy to read and understand, and free of any typos or errors.

What to Include on a Reference List

When you provide a list of professional references to an employer, you should include your name at the top of the page. Then list your references, including their name, job title, company, and contact information, with a space in between each reference.

If it's not clear from your resume, you may also wish to include information about your relationship with the reference. For instance, you could write "Reference Name was my supervisor while I was an accountant at Smith Enterprises," or "Reference Name is my current employer."

When you’re emailing a reference list to an employer, name the file so it’s easy to identify and easy for the hiring manager to keep track of. For example: JaneApplicantReferences.docx.

Example of Professional References Format

Here's how to format a list of professional references for employment or business purposes.

References Example (Text Version)

References for Janet Dolan

John Killeny
Human Resources Director
Allston Industries
52 Milton Street
Allston, MA 12435
(555) 123-4567

Janet Smithley
McGregor Company
1001 Route 20, Suite 210
Arlington, CA 55112
(555) 123-4567
Janet Smithley was my supervisor at McGregor Company.

Samantha Greening
Marketing Director
Samson Enterprises
108 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 11111
(555) 123-4567
Samantha Greening was my colleague at Samson Enterprises.

A Few Tips Regarding References

Choosing who to ask for a reference is an important step in your application process. Depending on the job you’re applying for, you will want to tailor who you place on your reference list. When possible, utilize references with connections to the company to which you are applying. It’s also helpful to use references who can attest to your qualifications for the particular job you’re applying to. It’s great if you can list people who have worked with you in a similar context to the position as well.

When you ask someone to give you a reference, it’s always a good idea to give them an opportunity to decline. While most people are happy to help colleagues out with references and recommendations, there may be personal circumstances preventing them from doing so at a particular time.

Remember that there are circumstances as well when you might want to submit a character or personal reference (as opposed to a professional reference) who might be better able to speak to your abilities to do the job you’re applying to.

This is especially true when you have limited work experience, or are branching into a new field.

Before You Submit Your References

Listing your references on the page isn't your last step in this process. If you haven't already, ask permission from each of your references. It's important to only submit people who have agreed to serve as a reference.

Even if all of your references are happy to be on your list, it's a good idea to provide a heads-up that someone may be reaching out to ask about you. This is a great opportunity to share some information about the job you're applying for, provide some key points that you'd like them to emphasize, and generally remind them about your skills and accomplishments, especially if it's been a while since you worked together.

Once you've done all that, review the list of references one final time to make sure there are no typos and that all contact information is correct and up-to-date. Here are some helpful proofreading tips for job seekers.

Listing references can either refer to creating a page for references made in an essay, or making a page for references that a ,How to make a reference page.

Job References: How to Format and Present Them

how to create a professional reference page

Free download below shows you a professional resume on references format.

The best way to put your references on a resume is to use the names of professional associates you have come to know and trust.

Avoid using friends or family as resume references, but focus on putting down people on your references list that you have worked with in your career and who can vouch for you and your professional work.

References on your resume should be people you have worked with who are also in the same industry as you.

Think about it, if you’re seeking a job as a programmer with Microsoft, and one of your resume references is a bread maker you used to work with many years ago, then no matter how many good things the bread maker says about you, it just won’t carry much weight with Microsoft.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

But on the other hand, if your resume reference is from another large software company like Oracle, then the Oracale references will carry much more weight with Microsoft, and in some cases, the right job reference is like gold and get get you hired at almost any company.

Job References Format – References for Resume

Formatting your resume references  is a relatively simple task. All you need are the names and contact information for at least three to four of your best job references.  Below you’ll find a sample reference list.

To begin putting your references on a resume, you’ll want to format your page as follows:   – see free resume reference page below.

[Title – Centered]

Professional References for Susan Smith

I would even suggest putting it in a 12-14 point bold font.

Then very simply list your references using this format and keep them left justified.

Reference Name
Company where they work, their position
City, State
Email address:
Phone or Cell Phone number: 216-555-1212

Then proceed to the next reference.

How to Write a Resume that Gets Employers Excited!

Here is a Sample reference list that shows you can download for free:

Resume References Format – Sample List of Job references

You want recent references from people who can not only vouch for your character, but the quality of work that you do. Having another programmer as one of your references is much more powerful than a bread maker. The bread maker is a huge over exaggeration, but I think you see my point.

101 Examples of the Best Job Interview Thank You Letters

Make sure you call each one of your job references and personally ask them if it’s okay if you put them down as a resume reference. And most importantly, make sure you are positive these people will give you a good reference. If you are slightly unsure about someone, then don’t use them.

The Best Job References Format

I have another article with a video on how to format a list of job references which does a really good job of showing you a professional job references format and is very easy to copy and adapt to your own resume reference page.

Your resume reference page can contain past co-workers, managers, even customers. I generally list about four to six different references on my references page using the above resume references format.

Also, I strongly suggest avoiding putting the ubiquitous “references available upon request” on your resume. If an employer wants them, then they’ll ask you. Avoid volunteering references too – it’s just too pushy. If an employer is getting ready to make you an offer then they will ask you for references and if they do, this is also the time to give them any letters of recommendation you may have.

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job

Avoid volunteering letters of recommendation – only present them when you are asked for  your references.

Try not to wear out your list of references either.  It’s always a good idea to give them a call every now and then and keep in touch. Let them know how you are doing and that you really appreciate them acting as a resume reference for you.

End of References on Resume – Sample Reference List

129 Sample Questions and Answers You Can Use to Get Hired for Any Job


Sharing is caring!

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: How to make a reference list for beginners

References can make or break a potential job offer, so you need to be careful about who you choose. Luckily, you can't go wrong with these 5.

how to create a professional reference page
Written by Yozshugor
Write a comment