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In a not too distant past, it was commonplace for job references to be included on your resume. But like hammer pants and dial-up Internet, job references on your resume have typically become a thing of the past. You might ask why. Simply, your resume is prime real estate and you don’t want to waste all that space. Still, there are a few situations where reference lists might be appropriate for resumes. Here, we’ll describe some of the most common do’s and don’ts about providing references for potential employers.

Do include references when requested.

All employers are going to do reference checks before they hire you. But, if they request this information with your application package, be sure to give it to them. If you have space, feel free to put your job references directly on your resume. If your resume goes over a page with the references, however, move your references to its own reference page. If you’re unclear whether to add references to your resume, you’re better off with giving them their own page instead.

Don’t include “references available on request” line on your resume.

Again, this line used to be common, but now is entirely obsolete. To the question, “Do I need references?”, every potential employee will answer, “Yes.” Everyone will — and does — have references, so telling your potential employer that you do too doesn’t add anything to your resume but wasted space.

Do list your references in standard format.

It’s common to include a references page in your application documents, but there are some conventions that hiring managers will want to see if you do. First, include the same header with your name and information that you use in your cover letter and resume. Next, include your references’ contact information in the way that companies expect: name, job title, company, phone, email, and relationship in that order.

Don’t keep the same references if your job search is lasting for months.

Just like if you were going through a long job search, your references can also get fatigued if they’re getting called over and over to provide recommendations for you. If you’ve been applying for a long time, be sure to change out your references on your form to keep everybody excited about providing you glowing recommendations.

Ready to make your job search easier for your references and for yourself? Jobscan’s resume optimization makes it simpler to make sure the keywords you’re using match the ones hiring managers expect.





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