10+ Tips to List References on Resume in 2023

4 min read

references in resume

Is it important to list references on resume?


It is a tricky question, as most job descriptions do not specify the need for references on a resume. However, adding some references is not a bad practice for resume building in 2023.


References on resume are important to authenticate your previous performance, behaviour, and character in the new company. Though it is a very important part of a job application, most candidates do not know much about it.

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Considering this, we are here to clear all your doubts regarding the resume references by answering the following questions:


  • When do you need references on resume?
  • Who should you ask to be a resume reference?
  • How many references should you add to a resume?
  • Who is a good reference for your resume?
  • What is the correct way to provide a reference to an employer?
  • How to list references on resume?
  • Where should I add references on resume?
  • Why do employers need references?


Here you will get answers to all the resume references queries in your mind. However, resume building still remains a difficult task. If you feel so, check out HyreSnap Resume Builder.


It is an AI-powered resume-building platform that can offer you job-winning resumes in a few clicks. If not, you can get an idea of resume formatting through its resume templates and build your resume on your own.


Let us first move ahead and see all the whats, whys and hows of adding references to a resume:



When Do You Need References?


In a recruitment process, references are typically required towards the end of the process. 


Employers usually ask for references to verify information provided by the candidate during the application and interview process, such as their work experience, job responsibilities, and accomplishments.

References can also provide insight into the candidate's character, work ethic, and professional demeanour. It can be useful in determining whether the candidate would be a good fit for the organization and the position.



Who Should You Ask to Be a Reference?


When selecting references for a recruitment process, choosing individuals who can speak to your skills, qualifications, and work experience positively and professionally is important. Here are some tips on who you should ask to be a reference:


Former managers or supervisors: Your former bosses can provide valuable insight into your work performance and abilities.


Colleagues or coworkers: Colleagues with whom you have worked closely can speak to your teamwork, communication, and collaboration skills.


Clients or customers: If you have worked with clients or customers, they can attest to your customer service skills and ability to build and maintain relationships.


Professors or instructors: If you are a recent graduate or have limited work experience, professors or instructors can speak to your academic achievements and potential.


Volunteer or community leaders: If you have volunteer or community service experience, leaders in those organizations can speak to your commitment, initiative, and leadership skills.


Choosing individuals who are familiar with your work and can speak to your strengths and accomplishments is important. 


Before including someone as a reference, always ask for their permission and ensure they can provide a positive recommendation.



How Many References Should You Add to Your Resume?


Typically, it's not necessary to include references on your resume. Instead, you can provide a separate document with your references when the employer requests them.


When asked to provide references, it's common to provide three to five individuals who can speak to your skills, qualifications, and work experience. 


This allows the employer to get a well-rounded view of your abilities and helps to ensure that they have enough information to make an informed hiring decision.



Who is a Good Reference for Your Resume?


A good reference for your resume during recruitment is someone who can speak positively about your skills, work experience, and character. Here are some characteristics of a good reference:

Professionalism: A good reference should be someone who is respected in your field and has a professional demeanour.


Familiarity with your work: A good reference should be someone who has worked with you professionally and is familiar with your work, accomplishments, and contributions.


Positive attitude: A good reference should be someone who can speak positively about your strengths, accomplishments, and work ethic.


Effective communication skills: A good reference should be someone who can effectively communicate your strengths and abilities to the employer.


Relevance to the job: A good reference should be someone who has a relevant position or job title to the job you are applying for.

Some good options for references include former supervisors, managers, colleagues, professors, or clients who you have worked closely with in the past. 


It's important to choose references who can provide relevant information and who are willing and able to speak positively about your qualifications and abilities.



The Correct Way to Provide Reference to an Employer


Providing references to an employer should be done in a professional and organized manner. Here are some tips on the correct way to provide references:


Ask for permission: Before providing someone's name as a reference, ask for their permission and ensure they are willing to provide a positive recommendation.


Provide relevant information: When providing your references to the employer, including their full name, job title, company, email address, and phone number.


Notify your references: Let your references know that they may be contacted by the employer and provide them with any relevant information about the job you are applying for.


Follow up: After providing your references to the employer, follow up with them to confirm that they were contacted and to thank them for their assistance.


Send it separately: Send your references separately from your cover letter and resume, and only provide them when requested by the employer.


By following these tips, you can provide references to an employer in a professional and organized manner, which can increase your chances of landing the job.



What Information Must You Add to The Reference Sheet

When creating a reference sheet during a recruitment process, it's important to include the following information for each reference:

Name: Include the full name of your reference.


Job title: Include your reference's job title or position and the company they work for.


Contact information: Include your reference's phone number, email address, and mailing address.


Relationship to you: Include how you know your reference and in what capacity you worked together.


Description of their role: Include a brief description of your reference's job responsibilities and how they relate to the position you are applying for.


Years of professional relationship: Include how long you have known your reference and how long you have worked together.


Summary of qualifications: Include a brief summary of your reference's qualifications and expertise that make them a good fit to speak on your behalf.


It's important to make sure your reference sheet is organized, easy to read, and visually appealing. Consider using bullet points and bolding to make important information stand out. 


Also, be sure to send your reference sheet separately from your resume and cover letter, and only provide it when requested by the employer.



Reference Sheet Example


We recommend not to add references to your resume. Instead, you must add a separate sheet having all your references together.


Below you can see an example of how you must send references to the employer with your job application:


Dipti Sharma

+91-9849382937 | dipti@hyresnap.com | LinkedIn Profile


Professional References


Manish Dixit

Head of Marketing, ABC Technologies

Phone: +91-9999999999

Email: manish.email@email.com 

Note: Manish was my manager and VP of Marketing at Gramson Technologies between 2015 to 2018. He is currently working at ABC Technologies.


Farida Rehman

Public Relations Manager, Edwic Infotech

Phone: +91-9888888888

Email: farida.email@email.com 

Note: Farida and I have worked together in a team for the past two years since I assumed the role of company spokesperson.


Anshika Garg

SEO Analyst, Straight South

Phone: +91-9777777777

Email: anshika.email@email.com 

Note: I hired Anshika as a marketing coordinator at Gramson Technologies and managed her for two years before she left to join the SEO agency Straight South. While at Gramson, I promoted her to the role of SEO analyst.


Sumit Sen

VP of Marketing, Enzyme Labs

Phone: +91-9888888888

Email: sumit.email@email.com

Note: Sumit was the Director of Marcom when I was a communications associate at Enzyme Labs. He managed me throughout my tenure at the company and ultimately promoted me to manager.



How to Write a Resume Reference List


You must follow a professional approach to send reference details to your new employer. 


For that, you can follow the guidelines mentioned below:




Determine the Number of References


First, you need to determine the number of references you want to share with the recruiter. 


The number of references will increase with the level of seniority. For example, you might send 2-3 references at the start of your career. However, you will send 4-5 references while applying for a senior-level profile.


Opt for Your Resume References


While selecting references for your recruitment process, you need to ensure that the people you select can speak about your best qualities, achievements, and capabilities. 



You can add the following people as references in a recruitment process:
The former or current manager
Direct supervisor
Former or current junior employees
Former or current co-workers
Professional mentor
Academic advisor


You need to ensure that you have healthy relations with all the people you are asking to be references.



How to Send the Reference List


You must only send the reference list if it is required in the job description. Otherwise, we recommend you wait until the recruiter asks you for that.



Ask Your Connections to be a Reference


We highly recommend asking your connections before forwarding their name as references in a recruitment process. It is a general courtesy and will give your connections time to reply to your recruiter’s questions via call or messages.



Resume Reference List Format

To share your reference list with your recruiter, you can follow the below-given format:


Format to follow while sharing reference list:
Reference Name
Reference Position
Reference Company
Reference Contact Number
Reference Email ID
Reference Description


Mention the details of every resume reference following the same format. It will make your document well-organized and explanatory.



Why Do Employers Need References?


Employers often request references to gain additional information about a candidate from people who have previously worked with or supervised the candidate. 


References help employers verify the information provided by the candidate, including their work history, skills, and qualifications.


Employers may also ask for references to provide insight into the candidate's work habits, character, and overall suitability for the job. 


This information can help the employer decide whether the candidate is a good fit for the company and the position.


References can also be a way for employers to assess a candidate's potential cultural fit with the company. 


By speaking with former colleagues or supervisors, employers can better understand the candidate's interpersonal skills, communication style, and overall demeanour in the workplace.



HyreSnap Career Assistance


Though references on resume are important, you must craft a technically strong resume first to stand still in recruitment.


For that, you can either use any resume template available online or use HyreSnap Online Resume Builder. It is an artificial intelligence-powered tool focused on helping job seekers to build their resumes without much hustle.

Below are some key features you will notice while using HyreSnap AI Resume Builder:


HyreSnap Top Features of Resume Builder:
10+ customisable resume templates
AI job matcher
AI job board
24X7 chat support
AI resume scoring
Mock test facility


Sharing references on resume is not mandatory. You must check out the job description and share only if the recruiter has asked you to do so. Otherwise, you need to wait till the recruiter asks you to share some references.

Below are some key points that you can consider while sharing your references on resume:


Key Takeaways
Make a separate document to share your references
Ask your references if they are willing to recommend you for a new role
Send the professional details of your references to the recruiter
Do not send more than 5 and less than 3 references during a recruitment process


For additional career-building assistance, contact our career experts at contact@hyresnap.com. We will be obliged to help you build a shiny career in 2023.



Build your resume in 10 minutes
Elevate your interview chances with our Modern Resume Templates that follows the exact 'Resume Rules' that employers look for.
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