How to Write Job References on a Resume

How to Write Job References on a Resume

In addition to impressing the hiring manager in your resume with a credible reference from your industry of work, there are many attractive benefits to adding a properly formatted reference page.  A well-written job reference section in a resume can prove your authenticity, expertise and job history to the recruiter.

To write a reference section that adds weight to your resume, you must scan popular resume reference section examples in your line of work.

Layout of References in your Resume

Employers scan the job references section to approve the authenticity of your qualifications furnished in the resume. We have compiled the best layout based on references in resume examples.

You must begin your references page with a title and your name, such as “References of Candace”.  Chronicling your references according to their degree of importance or closeness is a mandatory rule in resume references. For every reference, you must mention the full name of the person, underneath which must be the Designation or Occupation of the Referrer.  It is best to mention the official address, phone number and email address of the reference one after another. As an option, candidates can mention relating to the referrer and projects mutually involved in.

An ideal layout of a reference section in a professional resume is

Full Name

Designation/ Title

Name of the Organization

Full Mailing Address

Tel/ Mob

Email Address

Relation with the Candidate

Projects/ Skills Referred

It is recommended that candidates leave snail mail addresses if the list of references exceeds a page.

How to Choose a Job Reference for your Resume

As the job reference section is optional and adds to the data of a resume, it is best to narrow-down when listing references in a resume based on relevance and degree of importance. Moreover, hiring managers scan through resumes to find applicable references from the same industry and are hence, taken as a bonus.

To sift and sort references in your professional resume, use the below checklist-

· Who can be your References

From past colleagues to managers and past clients, there are diverse categories of references in a resume. A most important rule to pick a reference must be their eloquence in speaking as well as a strong and positive image of the candidate that they can vouch to the hiring manager.  As a golden role, avoid listing your personal relations, friends or acquaintances in the references column.

Popular references in resumes are Past Employers, Current Employer, Mentor, Teacher, Supervisor, Inspector, Manager, Coach, Mayor or Clergy.

· Relevancy to the Job

If your references section is lengthy or adding hefty weight to the resume size, it is best to narrow out references that are irrelevant to the skills you want to establish. From comparing how well-spoken or amiable your references are, you should filter references in a functional resume based on their availability as well.

For graduates, the references section might go wrong if you list your best professors and counselors as the referrers. Instead, you must limit your list by choosing up to three VIP references that can prove your professional worth to the hiring manager.

· Value of the Reference

In case your reference has an ill-bias towards you, it is best to skip it. References that can rewind your termination history or negative traits must be, strictly avoided in an official resume. Moreover, you must assess if a particular reference is good enough to validate your technical skills for the current job.

How to Write Job References on a Resume

Tips on how to put references in a resume sample include guidelines to captivate the hiring manager using technically sound references in the CV. Spanning from professional or standard layout to seeking permission to list a reference, there are many formalities in grooming your reference section to make it professional.

1. Seek Permission

In order to prove that the referrer will vouch for you, it is best to have a brief conversation about your job application and referral inclusion to the people you list as references prior to listing them.

Whenever a candidate adds personal information such as mailing address, email id or phone number of the reference, it is best to seek permission as a general rule. A formal brief about the job will also give a chance to the referrer to plan their response when the hiring desk inquires about the candidate.

2. Shortlist your References

Narrowing down your most important references for a resume such as past employers, supervisors or professors who can vouch for your technical efficiency in a job that you are applying to, works wonders! Candidates are advised to stick to the total number of referrals requested by the recruiter. Typically, three important references are attached to popular resume format at a minimum.

3. Commendable Recommendations

If you have relevant or renowned references that can win you the job, it is important to list it at the beginning of the reference section to avoid losing the same. References from your work industry or executives who witnessed your proficiency are the best to include in a resume job reference section.

4. Follow the Layout

Starting with the full name of the referrer and mode of contact, you must list the designation of the referrer as well to organize references in a resume.

It is important to choose a standard layout and maintain it throughout your resume reference section. You must not haphazardly list information about the references in a resume as it aggravates hiring managers.


Robert Smith
Operations Manager,
Marshville Road,

Relation with the Candidate– Project Manager

Projects/ Skills Referred– Teamwork, Leadership, Creativity, Quick Problem-Solving and Organization Skills;

Listing the complete mailing address is a choice that candidates must decide based on the hiring manager’s instructions as well as the referrer’s comforts for references in the job resume.


Yet another important reason to standardize your reference section is to make it compatible with automatic applicant tracking software used by hiring managers.

The reference list must be customized to apply to the job description and ATS. It is important to include relevant and important references in your resume that can vouch for you as well as establish your professional worth to the hiring committee.

When choosing a format for your reference section, assess resume job reference sections from sample resumes to find one that suits your needs.

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