Including References On Your Professional Resume

References On Your Professional ResumeI recently had a conversation with a job seeker who told me that she was unable to send out her resume because she was waiting on a reference to come back to her. I was shocked to hear this and asked her why she was even putting references on her resume in the first place. She told me it was “the standard thing to do on a resume”.

A hiring manager wants to know what value you can bring to the business. They are interested in your experience and skills, and therefore these are the areas that need to be highlighted. Including referees/references on your resume is not required. Not only does it take up an unnecessary amount of room on your resume, but it also does not add any value to your initial application. All that is required is to write the following four words at the very end of your resume:

“REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST”

Employers will NEVER contact referees without speaking to you first. Think about it – why would they? Would you bother doing research on a potential candidate without even having a conversation with them first? A hiring manager or recruiter sees hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. Do you think they have time to start reading through candidates referees and contacting them directly. This will never occur.

Contacting a referee is generally the final stage in the job process. Employers and hiring mangers, more than anything, rely on their own judgments and will contact your referees as a final step in the process. Only at this time will an employer ask you for a list of references to contact.

Great references do help and if the decision is down to two candidates, your choice of references could be the extra difference in getting offered the job. Have your references ready and available if they are going to be contacted, however first try to focus on presenting all the right information in your resume and cover letter.

How the job search process works:

  • Write a professional resume and cover letter that highlights your achievements, skills and experiences to convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job
  • Apply for jobs
  • Interview stage
  • The employer will contact references and perform background checks
  • Job offer!

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