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  1. First and foremost, be sure to ask your references if you can use them as a reference. Do not fall into the trap of using someone important who is well known in the community, unless that person knows you very well. Your references must be able to answer questions about you honestly. If a reference does not really know you and know your work, the employer will be able to quickly discount that reference, and it could be more harmful than helpful. 

  1. It is not necessary to put "References available upon request" on your resume. This is understood, and does not need to take up space on your resume.

  2. The reference page should be a separate file, with the file name, YOUR NAME_References. Employers ask for references at different points in the application process. 

  3. Appearance matters! Prepare page header to match your resume header and the header on your cover letter.

  4. 3 X 3 - List three references and three ways to contact each reference.
  • Snail mail
  • Email
  • Telephone
This is important because employers have specific procedures in place for checking references. For example, if an employer has a good number of qualified applicants, and they wish to check references via regular mail, but you did not provide a mailing address, your application may be disregarded.

     6.  Label types of references - This is not mandatory, just helpful. There are three types of references. You can use any combination of the three.

  • Personal or Character Reference - Someone who has known you for a long time and can vouch for your moral character.
    • Do not use a relative; at least not a relative with the same last name.

  • Supervisory Reference - Someone you have worked for. This is the most important type of reference.
    • Employers wish to ask questions about your work, and the best person to answer these questions is a current or former supervisor.

  • Academic - College students and recent graduates may wish to use a college professor who knows you and knows your work.

Reference page instructions.doc