The Right Way to Submit References During Your Job Search (Template Included)

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As you’re applying to jobs, you may be wondering about the best way to submit your references. Should you put them on your initial application materials? And how would you even list references on a resume?

The answer is, you don’t.

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Listing your references on a resume that should be one page (or maybe two pages ) is a waste of valuable space. A hiring manager or recruiter doesn’t have the ability to contact references for everyone who applies to an open position or even everyone they bring in for an interview. So save that resume room for detailing your skills, achievements, and qualifications.

What about writing, “ References available upon request, ” on your resume?

Avoid this too.

There’s “no need to state anything about references on your resume. It is assumed that you’ll share the info when requested,” Muse career coach Leto Papadopoulos says. Don’t waste a resume line to say something that’s taken for granted. (After all, you wouldn’t write, “Available for interviews upon request,” would you?)

Read on to learn the right way to list your references, download our template, and see an example.

When Do You Need References?

“Employers will typically check your references just before they’re ready to make an offer,” Papadopoulos says. That’s why you don’t need to provide them when you’re first applying for a job. But it’s a good idea to have them ready to go before you even land an interview.

If a company is ready to hire you pending a reference check, the last thing you want is to be held up by asking people to be a reference or collecting their contact information. Instead, you should “have your references ready and keep them updated during your search,” Papadopoulos says.

Who Should You Ask to Be a Reference?

Most companies will ask for two or three references from a candidate, so it’s always best to have at least three ready to go. Some prospective employers may request a certain mix of types of references, but generally you want to list former managers (or your current manager if they know about and are supportive of your job search) and former or current colleagues; if you’re earlier in your career and don’t have many former managers, you could list professors you worked closely with. If you’d be leading a team, you may be asked for a reference from a former direct report. For some client-facing roles, like account management, companies might want to hear from a former client or customer, so be sure to read up on the norms for your industry.

(Read more about who to list as a reference here or—if you have less work experience— here .)

The Right Way to Provide Your References to an Employer

Once you know who your references will be, you want to make it easy to submit them to employers when asked. So you should compile everything you need into a reference sheet, one handy—and well-formatted—document that can expedite the hiring process in the final stages.

When the time comes, you can attach your reference sheet to an email as a Word document or PDF file, or you can simply copy and paste the information into the body of the email.

What Information to Include on Your Reference Sheet

On your reference sheet, you should list each reference with the following information:

  • Current Job/Position
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Reference Description: Write one sentence explaining how you know or have worked with this person, where, when, and for how long. (Check out the example below to see what this looks like in action.)

There’s no need to include your reference’s home or work address—companies aren’t going to be mailing them anything. And if a reference expresses a strong preference for a certain method of contact, it’s OK to put “(preferred contact)” next to that line on your reference list.

To keep things easy for the hiring manager, it’s also a good idea to include your own name, phone number, and email at the top of the sheet (see the template and example below).

Reference Sheet Template and Example

You can use our template to make sure you have everything you need for all of your references.

how to type a reference page for resume

Download the template here.

Here’s one example of what your reference sheet might look like:

References for Monica Medina (999) 000-1111 [email protected]

Nicole Chiu Director of Engineering Sunshine Inc. (555) 123-4567 [email protected] Nicole was my direct manager from 2016 to 2018 when I worked as a software developer for Sunshine Inc.

Kwame Smith Front-End Software Engineer Zapp Co. (111) 222-3333 [email protected] Kwame is an engineer I collaborate with daily in my current position at Zapp Co.

Dr. Carol Moore Professor of Computer Science University of Pennsylvania (123) 987-6543 [email protected] Carol was my professor in four different classes and my faculty advisor for my computer science degree.

Keeping references off your resume is not only the standard now, it’s also more thoughtful toward the people you’ve asked to speak on your behalf. By only submitting their names and contact information when asked directly (usually at the end of the hiring process), you’ll know when a prospective new employer is actually going to contact them—and you can give them a heads up, pass on any important information about the job or company you’re applying for, and thank them for their help.

how to type a reference page for resume

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How to List References on a Resume in 2024 (with Examples & Tips)

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about including references on a resume, from how to format them to how to know when they should be included at all.

Ed Moss

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Should I Put References on a Resume?

The answer to whether or not to put references on your resume can vary. 

The general rule of thumb when is actually to not include references on your resume .

This is because employers are unlikely to reach to references until the interview phase, making the inclusion of them on an initial resume typically unnecessary.

This does not mean that there are never scenarios in which you will need to know how to properly list references.

For specific jobs and in certain situations, you may be asked or required to include a list of references within or alongside your resume. 

When you need strong references, it's important to structure them so that they stand out and impress the hiring manager, landing you the pivotal interview. 

In this guide, we will be covering the basics of how listing references on your resumes and when to know it’s time to use references.

Plus, we will discuss alternatives to sending references that can help you in situations where sending a reference may be a difficult task. 

How to List References on a Resume

When it comes to listing references on a resume, there are two main ways you can go about it:

1) Make a Dedicated Reference Section

Making a dedicated reference section involves making the space on your existing resume to include a short section with information on your references.

2) Create a Separate Reference Page (recommended)

More often than not, job applicants who have chosen to include references on their resume will do so on an entirely separate page to be included with the resume. 

The second option of listing your references on a separate page is actually the preferred and recommended method.

This is because references are not generally expected to be included on an initial resume and can take up unnecessary space that may be off-putting to hiring managers.

Comparatively, a separate page of references gives the hiring manager the opportunity to look more closely at the information in the resume without becoming visually disoriented by too many sections.

Hint: Not sure how to list other sections of your resume? Check out our Resume Guides to learn more about how to craft each section of your resume. 

When to Put References on a Resume

So, if it is typically not expected to have references included on an initial resume, when is the best time to include references on a resume?

Creating a reference section or page can be necessary depending on a number of situations, including:

  • If the employer has specifically requested for references to be included in the job description
  • If you have progressed further down the hiring process and have been asked to provide references before or after an interview
  • If you are applying to governmental or institutional position, such as a federal job, that will require strong references and a background check
Quick Tip: If you have impressive references, such as a company CEO or another recognizable figure, be sure to make these the most noticeable references and the first ones you list in your reference section. 

Overall, the golden rule is to wait to provide references until they are requested.  

Examples of References on Resumes

Let’s take a look at a few examples of references on resumes to learn more about common mistakes made when crafting a reference and how to correct them. 

It is highly important to include the necessary information to contact a reference – just a name and company is not enough. You should always include at least an official business number and an official business email in your references. 

John Doe CEO of Doe Corporation  123 Avenue Way, New York, NY
John Doe CEO of Doe Corporation 123 Avenue Way (123) 456-9890 [email protected] 

Always be specific when including the reference’s job position or title.

Don’t just list the name of the company without the exact job title to go along with it.

If you are unsure of a reference’s job title, ask them before submitting your references to an employer. 

Jane Smith Works for corporate at Best Buy 42 Wallaby Way (123) 456-7890 [email protected]
Jane Smith Head of Marketing and Sales Best Buy 42 Wallaby Way (123) 456-7890 [email protected]


‍ How to Format a References Section on a Resume

Formatting a reference section will ultimately depend on if it is being created within a larger resume or separately on a different page.

For on-resume reference sections, it is important to keep them as short as possible, potentially even excluding some of the basic information. 

If you are including references directly on a resume, you will likely only want to include one or two of your most relevant and impressive ones in order to not take up too much space. 

When making a separate page for references, you can simply stack them as you would jobs in a work experience section , placing emphasis on relevance in how the references are ordered. 

The Basic Reference Format:

  • First and Last name
  • Position or Title (i.e. CEO, professor of law, etc.)
  • Company or University of Employment
  • Company or University Address ( not personal addresses)
  • Company or University Phone number
  • Company or University Email Address

It is important when writing out your references that you do not include personal information about the reference, such as a personal cellphone number or email, without their explicit permission.

It is best to just air on the side of caution and only include official and public contact information. 

There is, of course, optional additional information you may want or choose to include within a reference.

This can include:

  • Your relationship to the reference
  • The length of time you worked with this reference
  • Examples of experiences or projects that you and a reference shared work on that they can provide greater detail about

As for formatting the rest of your resume, don’t forget to check out our other guides in this series including How to Write the Perfect Resume and How to Choose the Correct Resume Format !

What Not to Include in a Reference on a Resume

We have already covered the basics of what to include and how to format a basic reference – but what kind of information should be excluded from a reference on a resume. 

Here is a quick breakdown of what kinds of information should be excluded from a reference:

  • Any personal information
  • Lengthy descriptions of your relationship to the reference
  • Personal anecdotes or other non-essential information
  • Too many references from the same company or employer

You ultimately want to provide concise references that are easy to ready quickly and clearly show why that person has been included as a reference.

Take a look at these two examples on correcting reference errors:

When including additional information, keep it to one line or less of the most relevant information.

Additionally, keep additional specific and don’t use vague wording such as “several years.”

Incorrect :

Jack Frost CEO of Frost Inc. 21 East Avenue (123) 456-7890 [email protected] I worked closely with Jack for a number of years and learned a lot from him that contributed to my skills today. 
Jack Frost CEO of Frost Inc. 21 East Avenue (123) 456-7890 [email protected] I worked as Mr. Frost’s personal and administrative assistant for 8 years.

When making your list of references you plan of including, it is important to not include too many from the same company.

You should only really include two references from the same company if each reference witnessed different skills or accomplishments of yours that the other did not. 

You worked at a corporate company in the communications department as a copywriter, and you have worked with both junior and senior level copywriters who you have included as references.  
You include only the senior copywriter as a reference, as they can better attest to your skills and their position is more impressive and relevant to the job you are seeking. 

How Many References to Add to a Resume

Assuming you are using a separate, dedicated references page, the ideal number of references to aim for is between 3 to 4.

In some cases, you may include up to 5 to 6 references, though generally you should limit yourself to a lower number unless specifically requested to do otherwise. 

When selecting your 3 to 4 references, it is important to keep a few factors in mind:

  • Which references hold the highest prestige in their positions, making their inclusion on a references page notable?
  • Which references can provide the most relevant information about your work ethic and skills for the job you are currently applying for?
  • Which references do you have the strongest relationships with who will go above and beyond to recommend you to a hiring manager?


Who to Ask for References

As you are creating your list of potential references to contact, there are a number of different types of people you can consider including.

It is important to keep in consideration how a reference can relate back to the job you are applying for, and whether their testimony of your work ethic and skills will be relevant enough for the desired position. 

Here are some common examples of who to include as references:

  • Former employer or manager
  • Supervisor or low-level management
  • Coworker, colleague, or team member
  • College professor
  • Internship supervisor 
  • Community member (typically used when a job applicant has limited references but has connections within the community who can validate their experience and skills)
  • Business partners (this can be anyone you worked on a project with or shared a similar business experience with)

How to Ask for a Reference

Asking for professional references can be a bit nerve-wrecking, especially if your references are busy people.

The key to asking for references is to be polite and concise in your request. A direct phone call is preferred for asking for references, but a quick email can work in a pinch as well. 

When asking someone to serve as a reference for you, it is important to be considerate of their potentially busy schedule and give them a good time frame for when to expect a call or email.

This is another reason why it is important to wait to provide references until requested, as it will give you a narrower window of time to give to your references of when they will need to be on the lookout a hiring manager to contact them. 

Quick Tip: When you call or email to ask for a reference, this is a great time to confirm that the information you have is correct (such as their specific title and business phone number).

Can People You Have a Personal Relationship with Be a Reference?

It is generally advised against to include references that have a strong personal relationship with you outside of work (such as a significant other, parent, or sibling) as this can result in a biased recommendation from the reference. 

However, exceptions can be made in certain instances, such as if you worked within a family-owned business or if the reference worked directly with you for a long period of time.

In general, however, try to avoid including references that are too personally related to you. 

Alternative Methods for Sending References

If you are a new graduate or are returning to the workforce after some time away, you may not have many recent professional references to include in a resume.

For recent grads, including one or two professors can be acceptable, but you will likely still need other references.

Here are some examples of alternative references when you lack strong professional ones:

  • Volunteers you have worked with
  • Professors or teachers who have recently taught you
  • Community members such as church pastors or mentors who can attest to your character

Legal Assistant

Final Takeaways

Ultimately, the key to doing references right is to wait to provide them until they are requested by a hiring manager or potential employers.

Once references have been requested, remember the following five takeaways that are key for rocking your reference section:

  • Create a separate and dedicated references page to go along with your resume
  • Provide all the necessary official contact information
  • Avoid including personal information of the reference’s 
  • Avoid including references who share too personal of a connection to you
  • Include the most relevant or impressive references at the top of the page

To learn more about all the elements of creating a great resume, check out our beautiful resume template designs and resume examples for inspiration!

Browse more resume templates that fit your role

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

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how to type a reference page for resume

How to List References on a Resume (Templates Included)

Mike Simpson 0 Comments

how to type a reference page for resume

By Mike Simpson

Let’s face facts; writing a resume isn’t always easy. You have to choose the best resume format , discuss the right skills , cover critical achievements, and so much more, all in just a couple of pages. Then, if you need to fit references on a resume, too, it can quickly become overwhelming.

Does that mean you need to panic? Of course not. We’ve got you.

Here’s a look at the right way to list references on a resume, as well as a look at what professional references are, mistakes you want to avoid, and a handy references “template” to get you started on the correct path.

What Are Professional References?

Alright, before we dig into how to list references on a resume, let’s talk about what professional references are in the first place. In the simplest sense, professional references are people who know you through the lens of your career. They’re professionals you have working relationships with, either currently or previously, so they can talk about what you’re like on the job.

Hiring managers value professional references. Why? Because they help them get a better idea of what working with you is like. It really is that simple.

However, it can also go further. Contacting professional references lets the hiring manager confirm some of the details on your resume. That’s right; it’s an honesty check, too.

So, why would you include references on a resume? Isn’t that a less common thing to do today?

It is true that adding references to your resume isn’t the norm, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never need to do it. While 80 percent of employers will call your references during that hiring process, 16 percent of those actually reach out to a candidate’s references before they invite them in for interviews.

What does that mean for you? Well, mainly, that knowing how to list references on a resume is a good idea. That way, if you find an excellent opportunity with a company that wants your professional references from the get-go, you’ll be ready.

Common Mistakes When Listing References on a Resume and How to Avoid Them

As with all parts of a resume, avoiding missteps is crucial. Even small errors can derail your chances of getting called in for an interview or landing the job, so you really do need to dedicate time and energy to making sure everything is right.

So, what’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make when putting references on a resume? Well, putting a fake one on the list is a doozy.

A fake professional reference? What on earth is that? Well, usually, it’s when a person lists a contact who they have no professional relationship with and then asks that person to lie to make them look good. At times, it means listing a contact that doesn’t actually exist, including a made-up name, company, phone number, email address, and more. Yes, for some reason, candidates sometimes try that.

Dishonesty is always a big no-no. Why? Because if you get caught – and the odds are pretty good that you will – it will probably cost you. Overall, about 65 percent of candidates who get busted in a lie either don’t get the job or get fired if they were selected and start in the role. Who wants to take that kind of risk?

Plus, if word gets out that you lied, that can haunt you. Remember, people talk, so there is always a chance that the hiring manager will let others know about your less-than-scrupulous behavior.

Is that the only misstep? No, it isn’t. Selecting the wrong references is another one.

When you pick people to ask to reference, you need to choose wisely. First, you want people where there is a professional connection. Past managers, colleagues, mentors, customers, and similar professionals are your best bets.

Generally, don’t list friends unless the company explicitly requests that kind of personal reference. Hiring managers won’t necessarily find much value in these references.

The same goes for family members unless you have a working relationship. For example, if you had a job in the family business, then including a family member may be okay. Otherwise, skip them.

Second, you want to choose people who have good things to say about you in a professional context. Listing a past manager or colleague who you didn’t get along with is a horrible idea. They might not have the kindest words to share, and that can keep you from getting the job.

Ideally, they can discuss an accomplishment that really highlights what you have to offer, as well as talk about workplace attitude in a glowing way. You want someone who can champion your awesomeness, ensuring the hiring manager gets the right idea about what you bring to the table.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t have any references listed on a resume that’s publicly accessible. If you do, you’re essentially broadcasting other people’s contact details, opening them up to unwanted calls, including scams. While it may not directly hurt your job search, it is a major faux pas, one that could harm your reputation with your references and make them less inclined to say nice things about you going forward.

How to List References on a Resume

Alright, now it’s time for what you’ve been waiting for: a close look at how to put references on a resume. If you want to make sure you get it right, here is a step-by-step approach that covers it all.

1. Ask Permission

Why is “ask permission” step one? Because you should never blindside someone by listing them without their knowledge, that’s why.

Being someone’s professional reference is a favor, as well as a big responsibility. Some people aren’t going to be comfortable with being put on the spot, particularly if they don’t know a hiring manager might come calling.

So, before you include anyone as a reference on your resume, pick up the phone, give them a call, and make sure they are cool with it. Then, accept their answer.

Typically, you’ll want to get permission from three contacts. Why three? Because that’s the most commonly requested number of professional references. By getting them all handled now, you’ll usually be able to provide everything the hiring manager needs in this department in one fell swoop.

2. Get Updated Contact Information

Once you have a person’s permission, ask them to provide updated contact information. Usually, you’ll need their current job title, employer’s name, employer’s address, a daytime phone number, and an email address.

3. Start a New Page

When you’re adding a reference list to your resume, you want to start it on a new page. Additionally, it shouldn’t be any longer than a single page, as anything more is a bit excessive at such an early step in the hiring process.

It’s also important to note that your reference list will typically be the last page of the resume document. However, make sure you check the instructions for applying as some hiring managers will want them submitted as a separate document, not unlike how you usually need to go with cover letters .

4. Add Your Contact Information

Since your professional references are on a separate page, you want to add your contact details at the top. That way, if the page gets separated from the rest, the hiring manager will know whose references they are.

4. Keep It Simple

A professional reference list isn’t embellished. All you need to do is to write a header explaining that these are your professional references and then include the contact details for each person in succession, with a clear division between each person’s info.

Along with adding a space between each one, consider bolding the contacts’ names. That helps each listing stand out, and it looks much better than numbering your reference list.

5. Choose the Right Order

When you need to decide which reference to list first, go with the person who is most likely to give you an exceptional recommendation. Hiring managers may not reach out to everyone. So, by leading with the best, you’re increasing the odds that that reference will get a call.

6. Add a Short Statement Outlining Your Relationship

Along with the person’s contact details, it isn’t a bad idea to add a quick note about your relationship with each reference. That lets the hiring manager know a little about why they should care about what this person has to say, so it doesn’t hurt to do it.

What should you write? Well, mention the kind of working relationship you had, where you were working at the time, and how long you knew them. For example, “My direct manager at ABC Company from 2018 to 2022” is enough to provide the hiring manager with some context.

References on a Resume Sample

Alright, if you really want to know how to list references on a resume, a resume references example is a good place to start. It’ll give you insights into the format, making it easier for you to follow along.

To give you even more information, we’re going to cover two. First, there’s a references on a resume sample that shows you exactly what each entry needs to look like. Second, there’s a handy template that you can use when you’re creating a resume.

Resume References Example

Here is what a single professional reference entry usually looks like on a resume:

123 Main Street

Anytown, State, 12345


[email protected]

My direct manager at XYZ, Inc. from 2018 to 2022

Resume References Template

Here’s a quick template for creating your reference page for a resume:

Your Address as Listed on Page One of Your Resume

Your Phone Number

Your Email Address

Section Heading, Usually “Professional References”

First Reference Name

City, State, Zip Code

Phone Number

Email Address

Relationship Description

Second Reference Name

Third Reference Name

Putting It All Together

At this point, you should have a solid idea of how to list references on a resume. Use all of the tips, the sample, and the template to your advantage. That way, if you ever need to include professional references as part of your resume, you’ll be good to go.

how to type a reference page for resume

Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at

His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others.

Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

About The Author

Mike simpson.

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Co-Founder and CEO of Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes , Entrepreneur , CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan , Penn State , Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page .

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how to type a reference page for resume

How to List References on a Resume [w/ Examples]

Background Image

You’ve applied for an office position. You can’t wait to get an interview with the HR department.

Everything seems good to go, but now, the HR asked you for a list of your references.

So, how do you do this?

Are you supposed to attach it to your resume? Who do you include in your resume references? Is there a custom format style? 

Well, kick back and relax because we’re here to help answer all your uncertainties!

Read on to learn everything you need to know about listing references on a resume.

  • Whether you should or shouldn’t put a reference sheet on your resume.
  • How to properly list references on a resume (with pro-tips).
  • The best way to format a “References” section.
  • Helpful resume references examples.

Should You Include References on a Resume? 

The general common practice that the majority of resume experts agree on is that you should NOT add a list of references to your resume . 

Because, generally, the HR department doesn’t have time to go through every candidate’s list of references. They have a lot more important things to do than reach out to all the references every single candidate ever provided.

That’s why references aren’t requested until after your interview has gone well or right before you are hired.

But here’s the thing: 

That’s not an unshakable no.

If the job description explicitly states that you should include references on your resume, without question, include one! 

This is very straightforward on its own, you’ll know when you see it. 

Some consulting firms, for example, tend to ask for testimonials on your performance from previous employers before they hire you. 

In this case, it's best if you do include the contact information of the people providing you with their positive feedback, so the HR can check how legitimate they are.

Bottom line: 

Every word on your resume should be full of value and quality. References add unnecessary space. Insert them only when required or if you’re asked to submit testimonials.

references on resume

Want to save time? Get your resume done in under 5 minutes, with our resume builder . Quick and simple, ready-made templates that will do all the work for you.  

How to List References on a Resume [+ Example]

Now, let’s say you’re requested to provide a list of references. 

What’s the best way to display it? 

  • Reference's First Name & Last Name - Tim Borden
  • Professional Position / Title - Marketing Coordinator
  • Name of the Reference's Company - Zen Corporation
  • Business Address - Blaine Ave
  • City, State, Zip of Company - Atlantic City, NJ, 07030
  • Phone Number of Reference - (600) 753 9216
  • Email Address of Reference - [email protected]

It’s best to stay ahead of the game. 

Keeping a list of possible references is something that should be done in advance, even when you’re not looking for a job. 

When you’re searching for a new position, you want to have a list of several names to contact. 

You wouldn’t want to struggle coming up with good fits on short notice, would you? 

Here are some more tips to keep in mind: 

You should always start your list with your biggest fan first : your most important and impressive reference. 

And no, this shouldn’t be your mom. Instead, you’d want your previous boss to vouch for you. 

Busy employers may not contact all of your references, but they will likely start at the top of the list. Glowing recommendations shouldn’t be left last!

What’s more, it’s important to clarify your relationship . 

It’s crucial to include what your working relationship to the reference is and how long you’ve known them for. 

But do not overshare . Don’t add more than the items we mentioned on the list unless required. 

And never include the personal mail addresses of your references for two reasons:

They will surely not be contacted via snail mail. 

And they might not want all of their personal information shared. 

Last, but not least:

Choose your references appropriately. 

Always choose the best references for the specific job under consideration. 

Let’s say you want to assert your marketing skills. In this situation, you could seek references from a former boss who can attest to that. Somebody like the Head of Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer . 

How to Format a Resume References Section 

Learning how to arrange a reference section is just as vital as other sections of your resume or cover letter. 

A messy, carelessly formatted reference page will lose your employer's interest. 

So how do you write one that’s eye-catching and professional?

First, put your references on a separate sheet . Add an exclusive reference page, as the last page of your resume. 

Keep the same format for your reference sheet as your resume and cover letter, meaning use the same font, margins, and color scheme. 

  • Start off at the very top with your name, address, and phone number. You should place this information on that side of the page that fits the look of your cover letter and resume. (left, right or in the middle).
  • Next, write the date. Then start with your employer's information in this specific order: name, job position, company name, and company address.
  • Finally, follow up with a preferred title/subtitle: name the section References or Professional References .

If you’ve included personal references as well, you could also add “Personal References” as a subtitle. 

Use the formatting we discussed in the previous section to list your references.

Ditch the common “References available upon request”. 

This is a frequent mistake. Employers formerly know this and it’s an overworked phrase. The general rule of thumb is to keep your resume as brief as possible. Why misuse the space? 

job search masterclass novoresume

How Many References Should You Include in Your Resume? 

Though there really isn’t a written rule anywhere about how many references you should include, the most fitting number would be three to five . 

Based on your career level though, there is a general division of two groups:

Regular and/or first-time job seekers , should usually provide 3 to 4. 

Whereas people applying for senior roles should include a longer list: about 5 to 7 references. 

In that case, it’s sufficient to list one reference for all the different points in your professional record. 

Who is a Good Reference For Your Resume? 

It’s important that all the references in your resume are all deliberately selected individuals . 

Everyone’s aunt thinks that they are special, but what does your previous manager think about your work ethic?

To figure out who’s a good reference for you, you should take personal experience into consideration: that means what stage in your career you’re currently in. 

Because you’d list different people at different points in your career. 

If you are a student or recent graduate with little to no work practice, you would want to get references from:

  • Guidance tutors or counselors
  • Course teachers and professors 

Any of these people can speak positively about your best skills, qualities, and experiences. 

When you have some professional background, however, even at an entry-level position , you have more variety in selecting a good reference. 

You could use former colleagues or managers as well as project , master , doctorate supervisors from your most current studies. 

If you are a professional candidate , this process becomes simpler as your preferred references will be more acquainted with giving and requesting references. 

  • If you don’t have a lot of professional references to count on, you can reach out to just about anyone that can provide you with a valuable character reference.
  • If a friend works in the company you are applying to, you could also use them as a reference.

Other important things you should consider:

  • Ask for permission and say thank you. Fill in your references before handing over their contact information to an eventual employer. It’s solely common courtesy. Send them a copy of your resume as well, so that both of you are in harmony for when the manager calls. Don’t forget to be grateful either. If you get the job, take them out on lunch to properly say thank you. Follow up, a little acknowledgment can go a long way! 
  • DO NOT use family members. This is unconventional and discouraged. The people you use as references should be unrelated to you, in a familial sense. Of course, our mothers have countless nice things to say about us, but their opinion isn’t relevant on a resume. It might also appear as though you don’t have enough people to vouch for you. 
  • Avoid people you’ve confronted. Be careful in not adding individuals you are or have once been in professional conflict with. You can never be too sure if they’re still holding a grudge against you. Play it safe. 
  • Make sure they are comfortable. Especially if they’re a person you are currently still working with, confirm they are okay with you searching for a new job. If you’re trying to keep it a secret from your employer though, it’s best not to ask a current coworker at all. You can never know for certain how ethical or pleased with your success one is. 

In the end, the basic point of a reference is for the employers to get a true reflection of your work ethics, background, character, and personality. 

Find people who can properly display all of the above for you.

3+ Good & Bad Resume Reference Sheet Examples

So many rules! 

But don’t worry - we have some great examples for you to help put them into practice: 


professional references on resume good example

MY BEST AND FAVORITE REFERENCE - inappropriate title 

Martha Payne - a family member as a reference 

2809 Candlelight Drive - including home address

870-294-1238 - wrong listing order, the reference phone number should be second to last

Nursing Assistant - unrelated to your industry or position

Newlife Hospital

4164 Fittro Street 

Lurton, AR, 72848

[email protected]

Martha is my auntie. She’s not only a well-respected member of the community but a remarkable nurse. She was the one who raised me and I consider her my mother. She knows me better than anybody else and I couldn’t have chosen a better person to speak of my character. - prolonged and unprofessional description 

References available upon request - overused unnecessary phrase

  • providing them only one reference 

Key Takeaways

Here’s a recap of what we learned in this post:

  • References ARE NOT supposed to be on your resume. So when in doubt, DON’T include a list to your resume. 
  • On rare occasions though, references may be added on a resume. If you decide to do so, put your list on a separate sheet. Don’t forget to match it to the style of your cover letter and resume.
  • Be intelligent with your reference choices. Your number of references should correspond to your career stage. Put your most glowing references on the top. Selected those who are closest to your line of work. Avoid people you’ve ever had professional conflicts with.
  • Be diplomatic. Always ask for permission before listing them as references. Email them a copy so that you’re both on the same page. Don’t forget to thank them afterward. 
  • Use the correct formatting. List your references precisely as we showed you in this guide. There’s a definite, proper way to arrange entries and the structure of the page itself - don’t contradict it. Use the examples we gave you as a guide.

Suggested readings:

  • How to Write a Resume & Land That Job? [21+ Examples]
  • What to Put On a Resume [7+ Job-Winning Sections]
  • CV vs. Resume - What are the Differences & Definitions [+ Examples]

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A quick guide on how to list references on a resume

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Should you include references on your resume?

Choosing the right references, what information do you need for a reference, tips and tricks for creating a reference sheet, a resume rolodex on the ready.

Job searching is nerve-wracking . We want our resume to leave a good first impression on hiring managers and don’t want to waste applying to positions we won’t hear back from. 

Some trial and error is inevitable when applying for jobs. There’s always a learning curve if you’re entering the workforce or switching industries. But one piece of advice will help ease the process: always tailor applications to the job posting. This includes references. 

Choosing whether to include a reference section on your resume depends on several factors, including your work experience and the job ad. We’ll discuss how to list references on a resume and when to include them.

We’ll also note how to write and format a reference list and include templates and tips to get you started.

In most cases, including references on your resume isn’t necessary — but that doesn’t mean it’s always a bad idea.

When hiring managers look at a resume, their main focus is auditing your skills and work experience to see if you qualify for the role. Based on that information, they’ll decide whether or not to invite you for an interview. Contacting references usually happens after you move past this first meeting. 

Resumes are most effective when they’re clean and concise. They get through applicant tracking systems more successfully and are easier for hiring managers to read.

When you submit a resume online, it often goes through an applicant tracking software which detects specifics the employer has outlined. If it notices these specifications, your resume moves to the next stage. According to Jobscan, 99% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant tracking systems , so it’s worth simplifying your resume by omitting references to successfully move through these. 

But that doesn't mean requiring references for a job is obsolete. You should always prepare to provide references to a potential employer by creating a resume reference list, should they ask for one.

A resume reference list is a separate document with all your references’ contact information. Recruiters, hiring managers, or direct managers may contact people on your resume reference list to verify your work history and job performance or ask behavioral questions to understand your character.

While in most cases you should only offer references when a hiring manager requests, if you’re a university student, recent grad, or a candidate applying to an entry-level position, providing references will help bolster your application.

Even if a recruiter doesn't call your references before the interview, including them is a great way to demonstrate that you’ve taken initiative to build professional relationships .

Some of the best career advice to take in earnest is to tailor your resume to each job posting. This is the best way to align your skills and experience with the company culture and job description.

Using similar language to the job description when advertising your hard and soft skills makes it easier for recruiters to immediately notice you qualify for the position. 

The same rings true when sending references. 

Imagine you’re a graphic designer applying for two positions. One is client-facing, while the other requires you to work exclusively with an internal project manager.

In the first scenario, you’ll want to include a former client that can attest to your work ethic and ability to meet deadlines and manage projects. In the latter, you’ll want to include former managers and direct supervisors to vouch for your ability to work in a more collaborative setting .


When narrowing down your choices, consider people that’ll give good character references . Choose contacts who will sing your praises and highlight your strongest qualities, skills, and qualifications.

These are the best people to include as references:

  • Current or former manager or direct supervisor
  • Current or former colleague
  • Current or former client
  • Academic advisor, professional mentor, or career coach

Make sure you’re comfortable with your references knowing you’re actively looking for a job, especially if they’re people you currently work with. Asking a present colleague or manager might create unnecessary tension at your job — especially if you aren’t committed to leaving.

It's also essential to ask people if they’re willing to be a reference for you before giving their information out. Confirm people’s preferred mode of contact before sending reference information.

Some companies require a lengthy phone call with your reference, while a brief email is enough for others. Be sure you respect your references' time and preferences by giving them time to prepare and a heads up if an interview goes well.

It’s also nice to send a thank you note to those who accept being your reference, especially if a potential employer contacts them, to express gratitude and strengthen your connection.

Writing a reference on a resume or reference sheet differs slightly. With a reference sheet, you have more room and should include the following: 

  • Reference name
  • Company name and current job title
  • Brief description of your relationship (former colleague, previous employer, ongoing or past client)
  • Number of years you worked together
  • Company address, including professional phone number and email address


The way you include references on your resume will be sparser, as you’ll have less space. Here’s how to format references on a resume:

  • Company name, job title, relationship
  • Preferred form of contact

If you’re really tight for space, just add “References available upon request” at the bottom so employers know you have some prepared if needed.

Include 2–3 references on a resume and 3–5 on a reference sheet. Never submit your reference sheet with your resume — save it for employers that ask. You can prepare one and bring it to an interview in case they request it in the moment. 

You should also have an easily editable file to send with a follow-up email to the hiring manager if you’re asked for references during a phone or video interview. 

A reference sheet is a valuable way to prepare for an interview. Here are three tips so your document persuades recruiters : 

1. No personal info

Only include your reference's professional contact information, like a company email, address, and phone number. Don’t give away a contact's personal information unless they’ve explicitly asked you to.

Giving away someone's private information without their consent will likely catch them by surprise and could affect how they talk about you. It also looks less professional to employers. 


2. Keep it short and professional

Keep relationship descriptions short and sweet and avoid personal anecdotes or oversharing.

Here’s a good resume reference example: 

Sheryl Dove, Head Project Manager

Sheryl was my direct supervisor at [company name] from 2019 to 2022. She oversaw my work on backend software development for more than 25 apps for 12 clients.

Why it works: The description gives all the appropriate, specific information (relationship, business, and years) with number-driven information that will tie into the skills and references on your resume.

Here’s an example of what not to write: 

Sheryl Dove, Manager, [company name]

I loved working with Sheryl. She is an amazing project manager and I got to enjoy three great years with her. We worked together on lots of projects for many clients. I loved working on apps with her, and she also has the cutest dog.

Why it doesn't work: The description is unnecessarily personal and sounds like a recommendation for Sheryl rather than you. It also forces the hiring manager to do too much work to understand when and where you worked together. 


3. Provide variety

The ideal set of references will show the breadth of your career. Try not to include too many individuals from one company or only your direct supervisor in each role. Instead, provide references that reflect the variety of experiences you’ve included on your resume.

Unless you’re new to the job market or industry, it’s best to keep references off your resume and instead include a reference sheet for requests. No matter the avenue you take, you should know how to list references on a resume or prepare a reference list for when you need one. 

Scour your professional contacts and reach out to people you’ve worked directly with and had great experiences with.

Feel free to request certain information from them, like asking a reference to mention how well a specific project went or how quickly you were promoted. Your application will stand out thanks to your initiative and preparedness.

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Explore effective job search techniques, interview strategies, and ways to overcome job-related challenges. Our coaches specialize in helping you land your dream job.

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

What are professional references and how to ask for one (examples)

Character references: 4 tips for a successful recommendation letter, drafting an effective reference request email, use professional reference templates to make hiring smoother, how to ask for a letter of recommendation (with examples), how to write a resume summary that works + examples, how to put babysitting on a resume: 6 skills to highlight, unique skills for resumes to attract attention, how to answer “what are your weaknesses” with ease, resume best practices: how far back should a resume go, how to politely decline a job offer (with examples), 8 signs of a good interview to prove you knocked it out of the park, resume dos and don’ts: 29 tips for writing your best resume, how to decline a job interview: what to do when you’re in demand, 4 tips to respond to a job rejection email plus examples, best work accomplishments to list on your resume (with examples), 30 job hunting tips to keep your spirits up while your search, looking for a new job here are 6 things to consider, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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How To List Your Resume References [With Formatting Examples]

how to type a reference page for resume

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“Hi there! This is Jennifer calling from Google. The team absolutely loved you and we'd like to move forward by contacting your resume references. Can you please send them along?”

SCORE! You  finally  made it, all that work is about to pay off.

You crafted the perfect resume and cover letter . You prepared for and absolutely crushed your interviews . You're SO close you can taste it!

There's only one thing left between you and that sweet, sweet offer — a reference check.

If you're thinking “this is in the bag,” you may want to slow your roll.

While your resume references are usually a formality, choosing the wrong people or presenting them the wrong way can throw up a red flag right as you're about to cross the finish line.

The good news is that if you follow a few simple rules and plan ahead, you'll knock this out of the park and be signing your offer letter in no time.

This post is going to cover everything you need to know about resume references, including:

  • Why resume references can make or break your chances of getting a job offer
  • Where to put your references (should they even be on your resume?)
  • The best way to list and format your references in 2020
  • What types of people make great references (and how to ask them)
  • 10+ examples of awesome resume reference examples you can steal

You may be asking, who is this guy and why is he qualified to talk about this?

I spent two years making the jump from health care into technology, eventually landing offers at Google, Microsoft, & Twitter. All of those companies asked for my references and I used the exact methods I'm about to share with you to seal the deal with all three.

Now I want to share that info with you so you can replicate those results!

What Are Resume References And Why Are They Important?

A resume reference list is essentially a selection of people who can vouch for your professional skills and confirm that you’re an awesome employee this company should be excited about.

References usually come into play just before the company extends an offer. The team loved you in the interview and they just want to confirm that what you said lines up with other people you've worked with.

When it comes to actually checking, there's a pretty broad range.

Some companies don't bother checking references at all, while some might ask you to provide 5 or more.

You'd rather be fully prepared and burn a few extra minutes for nothing rather than be stuck scrambling to find an ex-colleague with a 24 hour turnaround time!

Should You Put Your References On Your Resume?

Nope! Your references should never show up your actual resume, here's why:

First, resume space is precious.

You just spent hours editing your resume and squeezing it down to a single page. You really don’t want to be wasting valuable space on your carefully edited resume by adding reference details.

On top of that, the company doesn’t need or want your references when you submit your resume. They're still trying to decide if you're even qualified to do the job!

A value driven resume bullet about a project you led is going to be way more effective than giving out your old boss's digits.

Plus, think about where you're submitting your resume. If you're sharing it on LinkedIn, on job boards like Indeed or, you're putting up a billboard with people's information for everyone to see!

Your references may have your back now, but that might change if they start getting calls from Nigerian royalty who want to share their fortunes.

“Ok, so should I at least put a line that says ‘References available upon request'?”

Nope! It’s fully expected that you’ll provide references if the company requests them. Again, focus on selling yourself and your experience on your resume. We'll take care of your references in a new doc called your  Reference Sheet.

You're going to want to fire up a new Google Doc for your references, but the key here is to make sure you're staying consistent with your resume.

This means that you want to keep the same color scheme, structure, font, and general format on both documents:

Example of a resume and resume references sheet with matching formats and colors

You want to make sure that your reference sheet includes:

  • Your full name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Link to your LinkedIn profile

You never know who this is going to be passed around to, so you want to make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to know what candidate these references belong to.

Remember, your goal is to stand out — and paying attention to details on your reference sheet is a surefire way to make that happen.

How To List Your References On A Resume

Should be easy, right? We're just adding some names and contact info here…right?

Not so fast.

If you want to win more job offers, you need to capitalize on every opportunity to add value and control the process.

This means paying attention to detail and creating those opportunities through every step of the process. Listing your references is no different.

How To List And Format Your Resume References

Sure, we're going to drop in some contact information, but we're also going to leverage a tactic to help steer the conversation towards a specific project or result that we want the employer to know and your reference to talk about.

You want to make sure your reference format includes (in order):

  • Company/Organization
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Relationship + Relevant Context

It should look a little something like this:

Example of how to list resume references on your resume

Now, you probably knew about the contact info stuff, but most job seekers miss out on the relevant context piece.

When listing your references, you want to provide a specific detail about a project/initiative you worked on and  the results it drove.

Results = value, and value is what gets you hired.

This starts when you reach out to a potential reference. I have instructions and an email template you can use to ask people to be your reference below. When they agree, hop on the phone with them and walk through the game plan:

“Hey Jennifer, thank you so much for offering to be a reference. I really appreciate it! This is for an operations role and the company is focused on increasing productivity/efficiency. It would be great if you could talk them through the Axion project we worked on together where we reduced redundancies by 37% in 6 months!”

Guess what happens next? Your reference starts singing your praises and discussing how amazing that Axion project was and what a great job you did to drive those results.

That’s way better than a typical response like this:

“Uhh yea, I worked with Austin for a couple of years. We were on the same team, he's a nice guy and seems to do good work. Yea, sure, I'd recommend him.”

That showcases zero personality and doesn't do anything to boost your credibility. We want to avoid that at all costs!

Finally, you always want to make sure to lead with your best reference. The person who has the most to say should always be at the top of your list.

How Many Resume References Should You Have?

Most of the time, your interviewer/recruiter will tell you how many references you should provide. If that's the case, you're good!

If not, you can always ask to get a number from them. That will most likely be a range and it could be vague like,  “we'd love to talk to a few people who you've worked with.”

If they’re not super clear, it's up to you to decide!

My best recommendation is five people if you can swing it. Five references gives the employer choices while also illustrating that you have a solid range of people who you believe will stand up for you.

That said, not everyone has five references to put on their resume. If we're talking minimums, you need to have at least three references to share. We're about to chat through the types of people that make great references, so if you don't think you can make it to three, stick with me!

Finally, a major exception here is for senior roles. If you're going for C-Level or VP level roles, you'll probably want to provide a more robust set of references. Seven is a good ballpark here.

Everybody else can stick with five!

What Types Of People Make Good References?

woman writing down her resume references

There are a couple of basic questions to ask yourself when considering who to add to your resume references list:

  • Who would be the best reference for this particular job?
  • Who do I know that works in this industry?
  • Who understands the exact skills I have that apply to this position?
  • Who do I know with the most impressive job title?
  • Who do I know at big-name companies?
  • Who am I okay with knowing I’m looking for a new job? (Hint: Probably not your current boss)
  • Who might my potential employer know and respect?

Think about it from the employer’s perspective — everyone wants to hire top talent.

The employer is using your references to validate your story and hear that same story from a 3rd party. In other words, they want to know that you are who you say you are.

They also want to know that your previous employers (and colleagues) liked you. Were you an over achiever? Did your team love you? Were you an awesome cultural fit?

Your potential employer cares about all of those things and the best way to find out is by asking.

If you can’t provide proof that folks enjoyed spending time with you, that you got your stuff done, and that you were a valuable asset, that's going to throw up some major red flags.

You've made it this far! We don't want that to happen.

Who Makes The Best References?

That said, your references don't just have to be former managers or colleagues. There are so many people we can pull from, here are few examples:

  • Former managers
  • Former colleagues (on your team and other teams as well!)
  • People you volunteer with
  • Friends & family friends
  • Professors/teachers
  • Mentees or students

You definitely want to prioritize people who have worked with you in a professional sense, but you can also get a glowing endorsement from people who see you in other aspects of your life. Those can be just as valuable.

It's also important to note that your references don’t need to all be of a “higher rank” than you. If you managed an intern, if you mentor someone, or if you teach in some capacity, you could absolutely have your intern/mentee/student vouch for you.

If you're in a management role, your best bet may be a direct report who can speak to your abilities as a manager!

Once you have your basic list down, try to think about who you know that is doing well for themselves, and whose job might lend a little credibility to your reference list. Especially consider people who are working in the same field as your prospective employer.

Definitely prioritize people who work in the same industry and major bonus points if they work for a potential client or partner — that's always a huge plus!

To recap on great reference options, you want to prioritize like this:

  • People who have amazing things to say about you
  • People who have worked with you professionally
  • People whose position may add some extra credibility to your list

The first is a must, the second two are nice if you can get em.

How To Ask Someone To Be A Reference For You

man asking someone to be his reference for a new job

Please, please, PLEASE don't be the person who just writes down a few people's names and  never tells them.

Even if “you know they'd be fine with it,” they will be totally unprepared to get that call and a flustered reference is a bad reference.

You're giving them no time to prepare, to get their story straight, to think about how to pitch you. You know who that ends up hurting?

On top of giving you a better shot of landing the role, asking people ahead of time is just the polite thing to do.

It also gives you a chance to verify their contact info, current job title, etc. so you can make sure your potential employer gets in touch with them the first time.

The good news is, it's super easy to make the ask. All you have to do is write a quick email asking that person to be a reference for you. Here’s an example of the exact email template that I used to reach out to people:

Resume References Permission Email Template Hi [Reference Name] , Hope you're having an awesome week! I'm reaching out because I'm in the final stages of the interview process for a  [Job Title]  role and I wanted to be prepared with some references. I really enjoyed the work we did on the [Project Name] and I would be super grateful if you would be up to speak with the hiring manager about the work we did there. If you're up for it, let me know! If not, that's totally fine. Either way, have an awesome rest of the week! Best, [Your Name]

Now hit Send!

Even if someone isn't up to be your reference, they'll probably still be flattered that you asked and it's a great way to reconnect.

Once you fire off a few of these and get responses, you’ll have a reference list ready to go!

How To Format Your Resume References

We already touched on formatting a little bit before, but I’ll just rehash the basics.

Rule #1: Match Your Resume & Reference Sheet Styles

Before you begin adding your references, you want to make sure your reference sheet matches the same style and format of your resume .

This means using the same colors, the same font, and the same general layout. If you scroll back near the top of this post, you can see an example of how I did this with an example resume and reference sheet.

Rule #2: Add Your Contact Info At The Very Top

Just like you did on your resume, you want to include your contact info at the very top. This includes:

  • Your Full Name
  • Links to any personal websites or portfolios

We want to make it as easy as possible for the recruiter or hiring manager to know which candidate is in front of them and how to get in touch.

Rule #3: Formatting Your Resume References

Alright, down to business! When it comes to each reference, there's a specific format you should follow.

First, you should list out the info for each reference in this order:

  • Full name of your reference
  • Current company/organization
  • Your relationship + relevant context

I personally like to spice things up with the font . I'll use a heavy font weight for the name and maybe even bump the size up a notch.

Then I'll go with the standard weight for everything in the middle, and close out with an unbolded, light weight version of the font to describe the relationship and the context. Again, you can see this in action in the example I shared earlier in the post.

I would also make sure to find a way to differentiate between references. It may sound obvious, but using numbers before names, or adding an extra line break in between references will make it clear where one reference ends and the other begins.

Finally, make sure you proofread your resume references list before you send it to anyone. Using free tools like Grammarly will ensure you never accidentally send your list off with a spelling mistake or a grammatical error you'll be kicking yourself over.

Examples Of Resume References

Awesome! At this point, you should have a few amazing people in mind to list on your reference sheet.

You know the general rules of formatting, but we want to be absolutely sure that you get this right. Remember, that offer is so close you can taste it! Let's not screw things up now.

To help you get an idea of what to do (and what not to do), I'm going to share a few examples of  bad  resume references and  good  resume references:

Example #1:

Bad resume references (don’t use this).

Bad Example of Resume References

What's wrong with this picture? A lot!

First, how is anyone supposed to know who this reference sheet belongs to? Was it Jenny that interviewed on Wednesday? Tom who came in yesterday? Who knows?

Without any contact information or details about you, your hiring manager is shooting in the dark. That's not great.

On top of that, there's a lot missing from the references themselves.

First, the formatting is entirely the same. It's just a block of text with no real way to easily identify roles, relationships, contact info, etc.

Speaking of info, where's the detail? There are no phone numbers (the primary way people will contact your references). There are no job titles and there is zero context about the relationship beyond “former manager.” Also bad.

Here’s another example of some terrible resume references:

Example #2:

Bad resume references (don’t use this either).

Example of bad format or references on resume

This one looks better, but we've still got some issues.

First, the prioritization is all wacky. This person is leading off with a friend while their current colleague is buried down at the bottom. That's not a great look.

What if they only decide to contact the top three references? They'd get a friend, a teacher, and someone who managed this person when they were an intern. That's not gonna work.

Next, there's little to no context here. What company is Luke Walker a colleague at? Is it a current company? A former company?

What projects did you work on with these people or how did they impact you?

There's nothing to clarify why this person listed them, which leaves the whole conversation up to the person making the call. That can lead to a seriously awkward conversation or, at best, one where they really need to dig to get the info they want.

Your goal is to make it easy for the person calling!

Example #3:

A great example of how you should list your references (definitely do this).

Example of a Great Resume Reference Sheet

Boom! Look how awesome that is.

We've got our full name and all of our contact info right at the top. The reader immediately knows who we are, they can look us up if they need to, and our email/phone is available for any questions or feedback.

Our references are all broken out in a clear and clean fashion. Each person's title, company, and contact info are readily available and we've taken the opportunity to “drive” the conversation here with a few lines of context at the bottom. Note that we defined the relationship at the beginning of that context.

If you're not differentiating yourself at every step of the job search process, you're getting lost in a sea of applicants. Plus, all this extra detail will help you (and your references) build a rapport with your employer.

The example above shows the exact level of detail you need to add to your resume references list. If you use that as a guide and format your own reference sheet in a similar fashion, you'll be ready to go!

All you need to do now is find your people, shoot them a note asking if they'll vouch for you, and get your references sheet set up. You'll want to have it ready to go at that next interview!

Salary Negotiation: Preparing For The Final Offer

What's the last step in the interview process? The final offer letter. If you've made it this far, congratulations! You'll want to be prepared ahead of time by checking out my article on how to negotiate your salary during an interview.

I'll show you 3 simple negotiation tips that you can use to double your offer! While finding the courage to speak up about your salary and negotiating what you’re worth can be tough, it’s an absolute must. If you’re not negotiating your salary properly, you’re leaving tons of money on the table. Don't miss out on the opportunity to get paid what you're really worth!

how to type a reference page for resume

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Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

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How to list references on your resumé like a pro + examples

Whether you’re a first-time job seeker or someone who’s thinking of switching careers, you know the importance of a well-written resumé.

A well-written resumé is the breakdown of your entire professional history and your updated skills . But future employers want to see more than just your accomplishments, they want to know if you’re the right fit for the job. That’s where references come in.

Should you put references on a resumé

Who to ask for a reference, how to ask for references, tips for getting strong references, what to include in a reference list or reference sheet, where to place your reference list on your resumé, resumé reference examples, common mistakes to avoid when listing references, important things to consider.

References are a short list of people who can speak to your skills, attributes, and character during the job application process. Your references should typically include your former colleagues, direct supervisors, previous managers and work mentors or, in the case of fresh graduates applying for an entry level position, an esteemed professor, career coach or academic advisors.

Including references in your resumé is a way for your future employers to get a clearer picture of who you are as an employee. Think of it as a way for them to see your achievements through a more objective lens. Build a more effective resumé by learning how, when, and where to include references in your resumé.

Unless the application specifically requires it, references aren’t a necessary part of your resumé  and should be kept to one page at most. Even in a two-page resumé, more valuable information could hold the space. Most people just skip it altogether or provide a list only when asked.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of listing references and what you can do as an alternative.

Pros of including resumé references

The biggest benefit of including references in your resumé is that it will help your future employer learn more about your work ethic and character during the interview process. If given the choice to interview a job seeker without references or to review the references of a job seeker without an interview, Senior Adviser Claudio Fernando Araoz of a global executive search firm Egon Zehnder says, he’d rather pick the latter.

References can also give your job application more credibility especially if your work history is a little lacking. This is especially important for fresh graduates who have had little to no job experience . Use your references strategically and include them when they benefit you. This could be:

When the job application requires it

Most companies won’t ask for references until they’re ready to make you an offer. However, you don’t want to delay the hiring process by waiting until the last minute to send request letters to your potential references. Make sure to have your references prepared when an application requires you to include them or when a recruitment officer requests them.

When you know an executive from your former company

A strong word from someone higher-up could place you in the running for your desired position. Make the most out of your connections by including them as references in your resumé.

When you’ve received an award or promotion in your previous employment

If there was ever a time to flaunt your accolades, it’s during a job application. Include supervisors or old bosses who were involved with or witnessed your promotion and any other recognisable accomplishments from your old job.

When you have extra space in your resumé

If you really don’t have any more achievements to include, fill up the white space at the bottom of your resumé with at least three references. Make sure that these references can speak to your work ethic and skills and that they are involved in a career related to the one you’re applying for.

A curated list of references that highlights your talents, character, and prior job performance can make your resumé stand out during the hiring process.

Cons of including references on a resumé

On the flip side of the coin, you may opt not to include references in your resumé because they aren’t necessary. They take up valuable space in a resumé that could be used for more details about your professional or academic history. There’s also an issue of privacy as you’ll be providing the contact information of your references to several companies throughout your job hunt.

So when should you exclude references from your resumé?

When you only have one reference or none at all.

If you don't have enough or an important reference, it’s best to omit the section entirely. At best, it can make you look ill-prepared. At worst, it can make you look like someone without strong social skills or someone who has a bad relationship with your former employers.

When you only have personal references

Exclusively adding personal or peer references to your resumé doesn’t provide a holistic view of your work ethic and skills. Friends and family have a tendency to be biased towards you and since they don’t work with you, they won’t be able to provide the details your future employers are looking for.

⁠When you have little to no space left in your resumé

If the formatting of your resumé doesn’t allow for space to include references, that’s alright. Just skip the references section and work on making the rest of your resumé more powerful. Avoid saying “References available upon request” as this is already implied.

Depending on the number of job seekers in your field, recruitment officers might not have time to review the entirety of your resumé. A more succinct breakdown of your employment history and skills might be more beneficial in these circumstances.

Alternatives to including references on a resumé

Providing references upon request.

Most job seekers only provide references when it’s asked from them. If you don’t want to include references directly on your resumé, this is a viable option for you.

Creating a separate reference list or reference sheet

Your reference list can be placed on a whole separate sheet with a similar format to your resumé. You can choose whether or not to include this during the application process and it’s good practice to have it ready for when your future employer requests it.

Make the rest of your resumé stand out

Whether you choose not to create a reference list at all or if you have no one to contact, just work on the rest of your resumé.  Craft an effective resumé  that’s relevant, concise, and tailored to the job you’re applying for.

If you’ve decided to include references to your resumé or create a separate reference list, now it’s time to figure out who you will ask. It’s important to be critical in choosing a good reference for a specific application.

For instance, do your references work in a related field? If you’re applying to become a nurse , your old accounting supervisor might not be the best candidate to speak about your triage skills. Lastly, consider your references' communication skills. Someone who speaks with positivity and authority will benefit you more than someone who sounds timid and unsure.

Professional references

These references are people you’ve worked with or under in the past who can verify your suitability for the job you’re applying for. Professional references can speak to who you are in the workplace. They understand your work ethic, know how you interact with your coworkers, and how well you perform when given a task. They can include:

  • A former boss
  • Office mentors or company executives
  • HR personnel
  • Past or present colleagues

Academic references

If you’re a fresh graduate or work in academia, then you’ll need to include academic references in your roster. These references can speak to your academic ability and prowess. These can include:

  • Thesis adviser
  • Thesis panelists

Personal references

These refer to people who know you outside of work. A personal reference can speak to your soft skills and give a more holistic view of you as a person. They know how you balance your personal life with your career, your hobbies, and how you treat people socially. These can include:

  • Volunteer group members
  • Longtime friends

Professional vs. personal references

Professional references such as a former boss or direct manager are what most job seekers go for and what employers usually expect. In a traditional work setting, this would usually suffice.  However, if your future employers want to get a complete picture of you as a candidate, they may ask you for a personal reference.

A professional and personal reference can be the same person. However, it’s important to assess whether an exclusively personal reference can benefit your application.

While examples above are provided, personal references can’t just be anyone you know. There needs to be significance in all the details you list on your resumé. Have you worked together on an important project for the community? Can they speak positively to how you’re qualified for the position in a way that a professional reference can’t? If so, then they can provide valuable insights that your employers are looking for, and including them as personal references can benefit you.

However, family members should be avoided as personal references as much as possible. Employers may express some concern that they are biased toward you, affecting your overall application. It’s best to exhaust all other options before listing down family members as references.

It might seem like it’s as easy as messaging someone on Facebook and asking them to be your reference, but it takes a little more work than that.

Remember: a reference is a personal favor that they’re placing their name on, so state your intentions clearly and in a complimentary manner. Write a letter of request that gets straight to the point while remaining courteous.

It’s also important to give your potential references ample time to review your request and get back to you. No matter what their response is, always show your gratitude as they took time out of their day to let you know.

Above all, don’t list a reference without informing them first. It’s bad form to assume they’ll put in a good word without letting your references know that you’ve given out their contact information without their permission.

Build strong relationships with potential references

⁠It’s always a good idea to make meaningful work relationships. Not only will this help you solidify a potential reference, but it will also broaden your network. This is also why it’s best to stay on good terms with your previous employers, barring workplace harassment and illegal activity, of course.

Share your job search goals with potential references

⁠Informing your potential references that you’re actively job-seeking will give them time to prepare as well as remind them to set aside time for a possible call.

Provide potential references with relevant information

⁠If they know exactly what you want them to highlight, then your chances of getting a strong reference go up.

Follow up with references

⁠Whether you got the job or not, it’s always best to follow up with your references after the application process and keep them in the loop.

The rule of thumb is to have at least 2 to 3 references on a resumé and 3 to 5 on a separate reference sheet. Make sure that these are individuals who can speak to your skills  and character and have been well-informed of what you’re asking from them. For each reference, be sure to provide the following:

  • Current position
  • Company name
  • Email address
  • Mobile number
  • Short description of your relationship

Keep your reference list concise and easy to read. Avoid including your job references’ personal information and strictly use their professional email and contact number.

Your references are the last priority on your resumé and can be excluded if you choose to. If you’d like to include it in your resumé, it’s best to place them at the very end. Always prioritise your employment history, academic background, professional background and related skills .

Better yet, create a separate reference sheet that you can submit when requested. It can be formatted to match your resumé thematically and allows extra room for other references to be included.

References in your resumé and in a separate reference sheet must be formatted the same way as the rest of your resumé. Match font, spacing, and colors for a more cohesive and professional look.

Not getting permission from your references

This is the biggest thing you should avoid as a job seeker. It’s disrespectful of your reference’s time and your relationship.

Using the wrong format

This is when your reference list in a way that’s difficult to read. A reference list that’s messily formatted can be difficult for your future employer to read and understand.

Alaya Company Chief Human Resources Officer Samantha Lopez

(+63) 987 654 3219 ⁠ [email protected]

Not providing enough information about your references

If your future employers ask for your references, they need to know who exactly they’re going to contact and how to do so. Incomplete information negatively reflects on you so make sure to provide sufficient details.

Andrew Garcia ⁠MS Shopping Center ⁠(+63) 987 654 32

Providing too many details about your references

Your reference list should be easy to read in the same font, so that the recruitment officer or hiring manager can get all the pertinent information in one glance. Overstuffing your references can be confusing, and unnecessary, and may risk your reference’s privacy. Use a separate page with the same format to impress hiring managers. ⁠Mary Anne Ledesma Navarro ⁠Human Resource Manager ⁠Abakada LLC ⁠(+61) 428 399 202 ⁠ [email protected]

I loved working with Teresa at Alaya Company. She’s a 47-year-old single mom and was the one who got me my position as HR Assistant in 2017. She helped me become more familiar with the job. We share a love for cats and get along well with our other colleagues.

References in a resumé can be beneficial to all job seekers who want their future employers to know that they’re the perfect fit for the job. Although it’s no longer a requirement, most companies still ask for a list of references so it’s best to be prepared.

  • Include references when necessary or when it benefits you.
  • Your references should be well-spoken, be an authority figure, and work in a field related to the one you’re applying for.
  • Be courteous, and concise, and express gratitude when writing a letter of request.
  • Make sure your references are well-informed before, during, and after the application process.
  • Double-check that you have all the necessary information and that your reference list is well-formatted.

Explore Careers  section where you can #SEEKBetter jobs! Get more resumé tips and tricks by downloading the SEEK app on  Google Play  or  App Store.

Are references necessary for every job application?

No, you can opt not to include references in your job application if it’s not specifically requested by your prospective employer.

How many references should you include on a resumé?

⁠It’s recommended to include 2 to 3 references in your resumé or 3 to 5 references on a separate sheet.

Is it better to provide personal or professional references?

⁠Generally, professional references have a better understanding of who you are within the workplace and can provide a better testament to your work ethic and character while personal references can speak to your soft skills and who you are outside of work. You can provide a mix of both (e.g. two professional and one personal reference) if you think it will be more beneficial for your application.

What should you do if you don't have any professional references?

You may choose to submit personal and academic references instead of professional references. If you can’t find any at all, it’s best to place your focus on making your resumé look good as it is.

Can you use the same references for multiple job applications?

⁠It’s best to avoid applying for too many jobs as this can negatively affect your application. Consider having 7-10 references you can contact and shuffling them around for multiple job applications. Make sure that the credentials of your references are related to the field you’re applying for. As long as your references are informed and agree with the situation, then go ahead.

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How To List References On A Resume (With Examples)

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Listing references on a resume can be controversial. Having references is vital to back up your resume’s claims, but they take up valuable space on your resume, and many hiring managers don’t want you to include them with your initial application.

If you’re preparing to apply for a job and are wondering what to do about your references, you’re in the right place: We’ll walk you through how to make a reference list, how to choose your references, and how to ask someone to be a reference. We’ll even give you an example reference list.

Key Takeaways:

Do not put references or the phrase “references available upon request” on your resume.

Organize references on a separate document. Do not provide references unless requested.

Choose references who can speak professionally about your skills and experience relevant to the prospective job.

Give your references at least a week’s notice from when the hiring manager might reach out.

Unless otherwise stated, provide at least three references.

How To List References On A Resume (With Examples)

Should you put references on a resume?

How to choose your references, how to request references, how to write a reference request email, reference request email examples, how to format your references list, sample reference list, reference list faq.

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No, you shouldn’t put references on a resume unless the job description tells you to. Your resume should only be one page , two at a maximum, and including references here will take up valuable real estate that could be better utilized.

What’s more, experts agree that you should always abstain from including the phrase “references available upon request” at the bottom of your resume . Hiring managers take this information for granted, making it as pointless as writing “interviews available upon request.”

Instead, make a separate document that serves solely as your reference list. So should you send that along with your resume? Probably not. Hiring managers don’t have the time to fully vet every applicant, so it’s just pointless clutter for them.

If and when they decide you’re a top contender for the position, they’ll reach out and request your references.

To choose your references for your reference list, think about people who will be able to tout your talents that relate directly to the job for which you’re applying.

When contemplating whether or not to use someone from your current job, make sure that they know you’re looking for a new job. If you’re sending out applications on the sly, don’t put your current boss down as a reference.

It’s good to get a variety of references that can speak to different aspects of your exemplary personal and professional qualities. Start brainstorming people who fit into any of the categories below:

Current/former boss

Current/former supervisor

Current/former coworker

Current/former employees

Current/former business partner

Current/former teacher/ professor

Current/former mentor /advisor

Just because references aren’t typically needed at the start of the application process doesn’t mean you should forget about it until a prospective employer starts asking for your references. Be proactive and select your top references before you start applying for jobs.

To request references, contact your references ahead of time, send them any helpful background information, and follow up with a thank you .

Contact the people on your list to make sure they know you’re planning on using them as a reference. This is also your way of checking that the contact information you have is correct and up-to-date.

Send them the background information. Depending on how distant your working relationship with the potential reference is, consider sending them a copy of your resume , so they can brush up on what experiences and qualities you’re trying to highlight.

Say thank you. Always follow up with references who agree to be on your list by sending a thank-you email. It’s not just about being nice; it also serves as a reminder that they should expect a call or email from your prospective employer soon.

To write a reference request email, write it at least a week in advance, use a professional email format, and give plenty of context for what you’re asking them to do and why.

Give advanced notice. You can’t expect busy professionals to be ready to speak on your behalf at a moment’s notice. Ask someone to be your reference at least a week before they could potentially be contacted by the hiring manager.

Use a professional email format. Make sure your subject line is direct (e.g., “John Doe – Reference Request”), your contact details are clear, and you’ve formatted your email using the standard business letter layout .

Introduce the situation. After a brief “how have you been” type catch-up, get straight to the point of your email. Let them know the position(s) you’re applying for and ask permission to list them as a reference.

Tell them why you chose them. You can play to people’s vanity a bit with compliments or simply let them know they’re a great person to speak to your specific skills in XYZ — whatever the reason, share it so they understand your reasoning.

Give them information. You can wait until they’ve agreed to get to this part or include it in your initial email. You can give them your resume, cover letter , the job description, and anything else you feel will make their job easier.

Thank them. Finally, thank your reference for taking the time to consider your request.

Here’s an example reference request email that you can use to help you write your own:

Subject: Reference Request for Ally Knope Dear Dana, I hope you and your family are doing well and that you’ve enjoyed your summer! I’m applying for a marketing director position at a school here in Kansas City, and I was wondering if I could include you on my list of references. Since we worked together on so many marketing projects at Central High School, I thought you’d be able to give hiring managers a good perspective on my skills in that area. If you are willing to refer me, I’ve attached my current resume and the job description that I’m applying for so you can use them as a reference. The hiring manager will probably be reaching out in the next two weeks. I completely understand if you aren’t able to do this at this time, so please let me know if that’s the case, or if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you so much for considering doing this for me. I hope we can catch up soon! Thanks again, Ally Knope 333-444-5555 [email protected]
Subject: Connor Wyatt – Reference Request Dear Dr. Hall, I hope this email finds you well. I’m applying for a research and development position at Devon Energy in Oklahoma City, and I was asked to provide a list of references who could speak to my technical skills and my character. Would you be willing to refer me for this role? I have the utmost respect for you and appreciation of your mentorship at OSU, and I believe your perspective of working with me both as a student and a research assistant would be invaluable to my being considered for this role. I need to submit my list of references by Tuesday, September 15, so if you could let me know as soon as possible, I would appreciate it. Please let me know what questions you have as well. Thank you so much, Connor Wyatt 777-888-9999 [email protected]

To format your references list, put your contact information and the title of the document at the top, then list each reference’s information.

Your resume references should be its own distinct document, not a part of your resume. However, the format you choose for your references list depends on what your resume and cover letter look like. That means sticking to the same heading, color scheme, font, and margins.

Other than that, simply follow these guidelines to format your list of references:

Contact information. Start with your contact information (name, location, phone number, email address), using the same format as your resume/cover letter (e.g., if your contact info is centered on your resume, then center it here as well)

Title. Add a clear title in a slightly larger font than your contact info. Something like “Professional References” is a safe bet. Just let the reader know what this document is.

Order. Start writing references with the following information in the following order:

Professional Title

Company/Institution where you reference works

Full address of the company/institution

Phone Number

Email Address

A very brief description of your relationship with the reference, including when/how long you worked with them.

Here’s an example of a professional reference list for you to use as a starting point:

Phillip Dunne 987 Elm Street Lewiston, ME 04240 (222) 543-2109 [email protected] Professional references Randy Halton Director of Sales , Northeast Region XYZ Company 444 Main Street Augusta, ME 04330 (999) 000-1234 [email protected] Randy has been my direct supervisor for 2+ years during my time as a regional sales manager . Phil Collins Sales Manager Ez Solutions Inc. 123 Apple Court Lane Bangor, ME 04401 (777) 987-54321 [email protected] Phil was my boss for 3+ years while I was a sales representative . Amelia Bedelia Intern Supervisor GoGreen Co. 550 Tremont Street Lowell, MA 01850 (333) 321-9876 [email protected] Amelia was my supervisor for 6 months while I interned at GoGreen Co. Jane Doe Professor of Business Management Bates College 2 Andrews Road Lewiston, ME 04240 (333) 999-4321 [email protected] Jane was my professor and advisor through my experience earning my MBA.

How many references should I include?

If a company doesn’t specify how many references you should send, aim for at least three. This is a good amount to give you a balance of perspective that the hiring manager can pull from. It is probably best to send no more than five, unless requested. For higher-level positions, consider bumping that up to between five and seven.

How should I order my references?

When ordering your references, start your list with your highest quality reference(s). It’s doubtful that the company will call every reference you put down, but they’ll probably start at the top.

If all of your references are of equal quality, then list them in chronological order — the people you’ve worked with more recently ought to remember you best.

This order, and even the people you include as references, may vary depending on the role for which you’re applying. Just as you would tailor your resume to a specific job, do the same with your reference list.

For example, if you’re going for a management position, start with people whom you’ve managed, but if you’re going for an IT job, start with people who can speak to your technical expertise.

Think: How can these people attest to my skillset in a way that’s relevant to the job for which I’m applying?

Who shouldn’t I include on my reference list?

Do not include family or coworkers that you have had poor relationships with in the past as references. Including family is a big no-no for your reference list. Not only does it make it apparent that you don’t have a very deep bench of fans, but it’s obvious to anyone that a family member singing your praises is a little more dubious than a former colleague or boss.

On the other hand, if you did have a bonafide working relationship with a family member, and (ideally) they have a different last name than you, go for it.

How do I include references I currently work with?

Including references you currently work with depends on the situation. If you’re keeping your job search a secret from your employer, it’s probably best not to include anyone that you work with, even coworkers whom you like. You never know how gossip will get around.

When shouldn’t I submit a list of references?

If the job posting doesn’t request a list of references, don’t include one with your application. Sending in unsolicited references might make you look like a dinosaur, as the practice has become outdated.

Can I use personal references?

Generally speaking, no, you should not use personal or character references when applying for jobs. They’re just not as valuable as references that come from someone you’ve worked with professionally. Plus, it makes you look like you don’t have many professional relationships or people in your corner.

How do you list a reference who no longer works there?

To list a reference who no longer works at the company you worked for, simply list their current contact information and then add a note explaining that you used to work together at X company.

This is a common occurrence, so just include a brief explanation on your reference sheet, and the hiring manager will understand.

The same goes for a company name change — write the name as it’s listed on your resume (usually the old name) and then add a note that says something like, “(Now known as ABC Company)” on your reference sheet.

University of California, Davis – Creating a Reference List for a Potential Job

Purdue Online Writing Lab – Reference Sheets

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Matthew Zane is the lead editor of Zippia's How To Get A Job Guides. He is a teacher, writer, and world-traveler that wants to help people at every stage of the career life cycle. He completed his masters in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin and BA in English from the University of Connecticut.

Don Pippin is an executive and HR leader for Fortune 50 and 500 companies and startups. In 2008, Don launched area|Talent with a focus on helping clients identify their brand. As a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Digital Career Strategist, and Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Don guides clients through career transitions.

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Many people don’t know whether they should include references on a resume. The problem is that while it used to be standard practice, it’s now something that’s done more by request or on an as-needed basis. Between privacy issues and more accessible information, employers aren’t as readily seeking a list of people who can vouch for you professionally, personally, or otherwise.

Read on to learn all about when, why, and how to list references on your resume, including plenty of examples and tips to assist you in the process.

Do you put references on a resume?

Should you put references on a resume? There has always been a little bit of debate as to whether you should put references on a resume from the start or offer them at a later time. There are also several factors involved in this decision, but the consensus is the same across the board: we don’t really do that anymore.

There are several reasons that references on resume documents have fallen out of fashion. For starters, resumes are no longer as private as they once were. Before the Internet, most resumes were sent to one office, privately, and not exposed to the general public. Therefore, people could include sensitive personal information like resume names, phone numbers, and other contact details.

Today, however, adding that information to a resume is often like sending people’s information out into the ether for anyone to get their hands on—hackers, spammers, and identity thieves are just waiting for unsuspecting people to put information out there in the Internet space. There are several other reasons that the trend of resumes with references is disappearing, but privacy is a big factor.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. There are some instances where references on a resume can be helpful. There are also ways to list references so that you’re not compromising privacy, but still showing companies that you have people who can vouch for both your character and your professional capabilities. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I put references on my resume?” , read on.

Pros of including professional references on a resume

Some benefits come from having references readily available on your resume. For starters, it saves you from having to provide them at a later time. Sending a reference page for a resume will show that you’re planning by providing as much information as possible. It can also help lend to your credibility because employers can see that you’re ready with people to sing your praises.

Cons of including work references on a resume 

Of course, you also have to consider the potential drawbacks of adding references to your work resume. For starters, it takes up more space and might draw the reader’s attention away from the other parts of the resume, which are far more important. In a lot of cases, as discussed, adding resumes also creates “spillover” onto a second page. That should also be avoided at all costs.

There is also the privacy concern that comes from listing references on a resume. It might be better to create a separate references page for resume submissions and have it available to send on an as-requested basis.

When to list references on a resume

The obvious exception to the “no references” rule is if an employer specifically requests that you provide references on your resume—do it. Make sure that you provide the right type of references, too. If they don’t specify, it’s advised to start with professional references. Then, if they want personal references, they can reach out for further information.

You should also clarify whether they want the references on the resume, or if they are seeking a different document. It’s usually best to provide a separate document with just the references so that they can follow up. After all, your resume already has so much information, and hiring managers will always tell you that in their world, less is more.

How to list references on a resume: Full 6-step guide for 2024

To learn how to write references on a resume, we have prepared a step-by-step guide to assist you.

Step 1: Decide how many references you need 

How many references should you have on a resume? This is the age-old question. Most people like the number three, but some jobs may require more (or fewer). Three is a good number to stick with if you’re not sure. You’ll also need to decide whether they are personal or professional references or both.

Protips for this step

If all else fails, ask the employer what they want. Ask how many of which type of references they need, as well as what contact information is required (that will come in handy in a later step).

Step 2: Determine how to add the references 

When you are adding references to a resume, there are typically two different ways that you can do it. You can add a separate section for the references at the end of the resume. Some people opt to create a separate document just for the references. This helps ensure that there is no spillover on the original resume. It also provides a more secure way to transmit information.

If you aren’t sure how you want to do it, consider if there is space for a dedicated reference section on your resume in its current form—will you have to make major changes or reduce the content to make them fit? You can also ask what the employer prefers. Some may want a separate document while others might want them on the same page. Still more might tell you to email them over separately for privacy.

Step 3: Get permission from everyone 

There are countless hiring horror stories of people using references without asking. Not only is this in bad form, but it’s also just a bad idea. If you use someone as a reference, they should be expecting a call from the employer. Otherwise, they won’t know to answer the phone or check their email. Not only that, but people might not be comfortable being used as a reference for one reason or another.

It isn’t hard. Just send a quick email or text, or make a quick call and say:

“I’m applying for a position that wants [personal/professional] references; is it okay if I use you as one? And which information should I provide for contact?”

Usually, people will be happy to provide a reference, but in case they aren’t, it’s always safest to ask first.

Be courteous, always. Never assume that someone is okay with you giving out their information. You also can’t assume that a one-time reference will be someone that you can use on every resume. If nothing else, asking each time lets people know that someone may be reaching out so they can expect the contact.

Step 4: Collect contact information 

Once you have permission, you can start collecting any contact information that you don’t already have. Some people have phone numbers and emails handy for their references already, while others have to seek out the information. In either case, make sure that you get the information and ensure that it is accurate. If you don’t know what information you need, it’s best to gather more just to be safe. And remember, the information that you need may vary based on the type of reference being used.

Protips for this step:

Ask the employer how much information they want, which type of contact information they prefer, etc. If you’re being asked to submit references, you want to make sure that you get them right. Perhaps an employer only wants to email people and you only send phone numbers—that isn’t going to work out and it could delay the process.

Step 5: Compile references and their contact details 

Now it’s time to compile the references that you have collected and add their information to the resume, or the resume references list. Make sure that you double-check the information at this stage and use care when typing or pasting it into the document. The last thing you need is a wayward typo derailing a reference contact.

Use the examples below and available references templates to compile and format your references properly. (More on formatting in the next section)

Step 6: Submit your resume 

You’re all done! You have the references listed on your resume or a separate page, and you have verified the contact details. You fixed the formatting and are ready to submit—now just click send, and let the employer do their work. It can take some time for employers to get to references, even when they’re requested, so don’t get too anxious if you don’t get any immediate feedback.

Make sure that you are following the employer’s request to the letter. If you’re providing references without a direct request, use standard formatting guidelines for best results.

How to format resume references

Now we’re getting to the important part. Learning where to put references on a resume and how to do it can make or break your chances of success. If you aren’t sure how many references for a resume are required, you can always ask. As an alternative, you can provide 3-4 references, which is a standard number for most employers.

Create a dedicated page or section on your resume 

As mentioned, you must have a dedicated space for references that is clearly marked and easy to find. In some cases, it’s better to attach a separate reference sheet for this reason. A separate sheet could also increase the privacy factor and ensure that only people who request references get them.

You shouldn’t mix references in with your job history or try to link them together in any way—the employer can make the connections if necessary and trying to do so will only turn your resume into a mess, and fast. Keep them separate and easily identifiable.

Keep the formatting consistent 

You also need to keep formatting consistent between your resume, cover letter, and reference page. This includes the font size, color, and other details, as well as the spacing and other formatting elements. Some people want to use different templates or designs for each element but that can make it difficult for employers to keep track of your documents. Consistency ensures that they know your documents from the rest and will not get things mixed up.

Use a standard list format 

Sometimes, people want to get fancy with formatting on resumes, as if that might impress employers. Unfortunately, usually, that only makes things difficult to read and follow. For example, you may see reference lists where people attempt to list them all on a single line using dots or em dashes (—), but that can get confusing and if the formatting gets lost in translation it can be a nightmare.

Professional reference format

  • Relationship

Personal reference format

  • Relationship/years known

Educational reference format

  • Position/Role (teacher, professor, advisor, etc.)

Resume references examples

To help you make the most of your resume reference page or list, here are a few examples.

Example 1: Educational references 

In this references on resume example, you can see the information is clear, direct, and thorough. These are educational references and the candidate has provided their name, school, email, and phone number. Some people will take the extra step and also add the position of the reference or their relationship with the candidate, but it’s not always necessary.

Example #2: Professional references 

Here is a great example of a professional reference list for a resume. It is shown as a separate page, but she includes her personal information in the matching header for consistency. It includes the name, position, company information, and contact details for each reference. As a bonus, she offers a brief explanation of how each reference relates to her professional experience.

Example #3: Personal references

It’s less common for companies to request personal references on a resume or for a job, but if they do, they need to be listed differently. This is another educational list, but it’s former teachers, so it will usually qualify as a personal reference to most employers. If you do list family or friends, you can simply list them as follows:

John Smith – Father-in-Law 

Years Known: 12

Phone: 555-123-4567

Email: [email protected]

This allows you to cover the important bases: who they are, how long they’ve known you, and how the employer can get in touch to get the reference.

Example #4: Mixed references

This is a great example of offering a little bit of everything. There is an educational reference, a professional reference, and a personal reference. And, the writer has included all of the necessary contact information and relationship details to help employers understand who they are contacting.

Professional references template

Here is a great resume references template that you can use to create your own resume list for employers. Remember, if you’re using personal or academic references, you can make the necessary adjustments.

Who to ask to be a reference for your resume

There are several people that you can ask to be a reference for your resume, depending on the type of reference that you need:

  • Former employers
  • Managers and supervisors
  • Coworkers and professional peers
  • Family and friends (personal references)
  • Group leaders (pastors, youth leaders, scout leaders, etc.)
  • Teachers, professors, and other educators

How to request references for a resume: 5 tips that work

There are a lot of ways that you can go about asking for references, and for the most part, people are usually more than willing. However, if you want to be sure that you seal the deal, here are five quick-fire tips before we close:

  • Choose the people you use as references carefully because they will often impact the employer’s decision.
  • Notify references in advance; in addition to asking their permission, let them know what the reference is for and when to expect contact.
  • Be polite and explain why you want to use someone as a reference—flattery will get you far.
  • Provide details to both references and employers so that everyone knows what to expect.
  • Finally, and most importantly, never, ever lie about references . Not only is it in bad form, but we live in the digital age where employers will find out fast that your former supervisor “Cathleen” is actually your sister-in-law.

Key takeaways on references on resumes

There is certainly a case for listing references on a resume, but it may not always be necessary. As you have learned, sometimes it is job-specific, while in other cases, it might be a decision based on a level of skill or the career role. Ultimately, it is best to consider the job at hand and wait until you’re asked to provide references. And when you do, make sure that you format them properly, provide the necessary contact details, and submit them in a professional, easy-to-read format. With these tips, your reference submissions should be a game-changer moving forward.

Is it ok to not put references on a resume?

Yes. The general rule of thumb is that you don’t need references on a resume these days. That’s because the references aren’t required until later in the interview and screening process. Most employers won’t even ask for references unless they are considering hiring a candidate. There are exceptions to this, of course.

Is it bad to put “references available upon request” on a resume?

Most experts also suggest that you don’t waste time or space putting “references available upon request” on your resume. It’s assumed by most employers that if they ask for references at any point, you will provide them. Therefore, it’s unnecessary to state the obvious.

The exception, of course, is if a job listing asks for references in the post specifically or if you know that it will be a part of the job interview process. But again, most employers anticipate that candidates can and will provide references as asked.

What are personal vs. professional references?

Personal references refer to family and friends, as well as friends of family, etc. These are people who have known you throughout your life and can vouch for your character. They may also include teachers, pastors, and other mentors or leaders.

Professional references are those who have seen your capabilities and can speak for you on a professional level. These can be coworkers, former bosses and supervisors, or other professional connections that you have made over the years.

Should I include references if my resume is too short?

No. For starters, there is no such thing as a resume that is “too short”—the length designates your experience in the job market. Entry-level candidates are expected to have limited experience. And if someone has had the same position for 10 years, they probably will have a shorter resume because there are fewer jobs. Do not add references just to bulk up the content.

Should you use a friend as a personal reference?

Friends are a great example of a personal reference. Family is usually preferred because they tend to have the most experience with your character. However, if a company requests personal references, you can absolutely use friends, as well as:

  • Family members
  • Club leaders

If a company asks for professional references, you should not use friends or family.

Can I put three references on my resume?

Usually, three references are standard. Some employers may ask for more, or they may only want one or two. If your resume has room to include three references without spilling over onto a second page, go ahead. That is, of course, if they were requested by the employer or part of the job posting. Otherwise, again, you can probably just skip them entirely.

Can I have two references on my resume?

Two references are good, but as mentioned above, most will ask for three. No one quite knows where the magic number three came from, but it has been common for almost as long as references have been used. Again, find out what the employer wants and make sure adding references isn’t going to create a spillover page, and you’ll be fine.

How do you list federal references on a resume?

The federal resume format generally requires that you list the federal office or organization, the supervisor’s name and contact information, and their title and relationship to you in the position. Federal resumes usually require a minimum of five references or positions in job history or a combination of the two.

How do you list babysitting references on a resume?

Babysitting references are a little easier than most. Usually, can simply list the name of the parent for which you babysat along with their phone number and/or email address. Be sure to ask permission or let parents know that you are submitting a resume or providing their information as a professional reference.

You should also ask which contact information is okay to share, how they prefer to be contacted, and whether they are comfortable with the submission method (resume, email, etc.).

Client provided

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How to Add a Reference Page in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a reference page in Microsoft Word is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Essentially, it involves using built-in tools to properly format your sources. In just a few steps, you’ll create a page that not only looks professional but also adheres to citation standards.

Adding a Reference Page in Word

Creating a reference page in Word will ensure your document is properly cited and looks polished. Let’s dive into the steps to make this happen.

Step 1: Open the "References" Tab

Start by clicking on the "References" tab at the top of the Word window.

This tab contains various tools for managing citations and bibliographies, so you’ll spend a lot of time here. It’s your one-stop-shop for all things referencing.

Step 2: Click on "Manage Sources"

Navigate to the "Citations & Bibliography" group and click "Manage Sources."

This command opens a new window where you can add, edit, or delete sources. It’s kind of like a filing cabinet for your references.

Step 3: Add a New Source

Click the "New" button in the Source Manager window to add a new source.

You’ll need to fill out information like the author, title, and year of publication. Make sure to pick the correct type of source (e.g., book, article, website).

Step 4: Insert Citations

Place your cursor where you want the citation to appear in your document, then click "Insert Citation" in the "Citations & Bibliography" group.

Choose the source you just added. Word will insert an in-text citation at the cursor position.

Step 5: Generate the Reference Page

Click "Bibliography" in the "Citations & Bibliography" group, then choose a style (like APA or MLA).

Word will automatically create a reference page at the end of your document. It’s like magic, but better because it’s academically sound.

After completing these steps, your document will have a properly formatted reference page. All your sources will be listed in the correct style, making it easier for readers to see where your information came from.

Tips for Adding a Reference Page in Word

  • Double-Check Your Sources : Make sure all the details are correct. A small mistake can make a big difference.
  • Use Citation Styles Consistently : Stick to one style guide (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) to keep your document uniform.
  • Update Your Sources As You Go : Don’t wait until the end to add sources. It’s easier to manage if you add them as you write.
  • Utilize Templates : Word offers pre-made templates for different citation styles. These can save you a lot of formatting headaches.
  • Back Up Your Work : Always save a copy of your document to avoid losing your hard-earned citations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i add multiple styles of citations in one document.

Technically, yes, but it’s not recommended. Stick to one style to keep everything consistent.

How do I edit a source I already added?

Go to "Manage Sources," select the source you want to edit, and click "Edit."

Can I import sources from other documents?

Yes, you can use the "Source Manager" to import sources from other projects.

What if I don’t see the citation style I need?

Word supports many styles, but you can manually edit citations if needed.

Can I remove a source from the reference page?

Yes, just delete the in-text citation, and Word will automatically update the reference page.

  • Open the "References" tab.
  • Click "Manage Sources."
  • Add a new source.
  • Insert citations.
  • Generate the reference page.

Adding a reference page in Word not only makes your document look professional but also ensures you’re giving proper credit to your sources. With these steps, you can easily manage your citations and create a polished reference page in no time. If you find yourself frequently working on academic or professional documents, mastering this skill is a must.

You might feel like a juggler balancing all those sources, but Word’s built-in tools act like that safety net you didn’t know you needed. So go ahead, dive into your next project with confidence. Happy referencing!

Kermit Matthews Live2Tech

Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.

He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office, and many other popular applications and devices.

Read his full bio here .

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  • CV and Cover Letter
  • Leverage these transferable...

Leverage these transferable skills in your job search

8 min read · Updated on June 25, 2024

Charlotte Grainger

Valued across industries, transferable skills can unlock new career doors

You know that having and showing off skills is important in your job search, but did you know that there are different types of skills? Each type is valuable if you're looking to change careers or progress from your current job. Some skills, in particular, can boost your employability whatever sector you're in. Here, we define what transferable skills are, provide examples for different professions, and explain how to effectively include them on your CV.

What are transferable skills?

Transferable skills, sometimes called soft skills, are those that are not specific to one particular type of job. For example, if you're good at negotiating, that's a skill that can be used whether you're in sales, management, or purchasing. Something like coding, however, isn't a transferable skill; it's listed on a CV as a hard skill as it only applies to one specific industry.

When you're applying for a job, you need to demonstrate a healthy mix of both hard and soft skills.

Why are transferable skills important?

Before we take a look at some transferable skills examples, let's talk about why they're so important. Transferable skills matter because: 

They show employers that you're a team player

Transferable skills often allow us to collaborate well with others. For example, being a reflective listener means that you can easily understand what your coworkers tell you, allowing you to contribute quickly and efficiently to the team. On the other hand, having excellent time management skills means that you're able to help them hit deadlines. 

They allow you to move from role to role 

Few people stay in the same job forever. Whether you're changing careers or simply climbing the corporate ladder, you'll likely end up wearing many different hats. Having a selection of transferable skills means that you can easily get to grips with the tasks of each new position. For instance, having a high level of organisation is always going to be a valuable talent across any department, unit, or sector.

They harness and highlight your adaptability

One of the great benefits of having transferable skills is that you can be more responsive to changing professional demands. If a certain department or team needs support, you're at the ready. You can use your soft skills to give them the help that they need during tough periods. Chances are, the management team will notice this level of adaptability and it will work in your favour when new roles crop up. 

They help boost your network

Transferable skills are not merely about bolstering your CV. You can use these skills to up your networking game and make some valuable connections. For instance, you might use your communication skills to effectively convey your talents to a hiring manager. 

Sought-after transferable skills for your CV

Certain soft skills are always in demand – no wonder you see these transferable skills listed time and again across job adverts. Even as you progress up the career ladder, you'll find that the same skills are still valued, albeit at a higher level. Key examples are:

Communication : negotiation, influencing, facilitation, reporting or presenting, public speaking, training

Teamwork : sharing ideas, collaboration, building relationships

Leadership : delegation, coaching, managing change, decision-making, problem-solving, training

Organisation : planning, meeting deadlines, prioritising, forecasting, setting goals, time management

Customer service : handling enquiries, resolving complaints

Financial administration: handling cash, processing expenses, setting budgets, controlling costs

Languages : relevant expertise in any foreign language, written or spoken

Transferable skills examples for sales professionals

For sales professionals , the ability to close sales is the priority. To achieve this, many different transferable skills are required including building a rapport, listening, developing relationships, negotiating, persuading, influencing, customer service, and the ability to achieve targets.

To include these on your CV, you'll need to identify specific examples of how and when you've used these skills. Bonus points if you can include positive outcomes or quantifiable results . For example: "Surpassed targets by an average of 10% per month," or "Received positive feedback from customer satisfaction surveys for delivering consistently exceptional service."

Transferable skills examples for travel professionals

Travel professionals need strong organisational skills, a focus on customer service, and the ability to communicate with a wide range of people, among other skills.

Consider how you've already demonstrated these in your life so far; maybe whilst at university, you organised a fundraiser or event. Maybe as a personal assistant, you were responsible for managing a busy diary and planning meetings. Both demonstrate excellent organisational skills, which, whilst not gained in the same industry, can be easily transferred to travel.

Transferable skills examples for advertising professionals

To work in advertising, you'll need skills such as creativity , collaboration, and project management . These can be incorporated into your CV with a link to an online portfolio and details of a project (university or professional) that you managed through to a successful conclusion, even if that project was not related to advertising.

Transferable skills examples for hospitality professionals

Naturally, customer service is the number one transferable skill required to secure a career in hospitality. These roles are usually very customer-facing, so you'll need to emphasise the communication and interpersonal skills that showcase your ability to build relationships, well as your problem-solving abilities.

Luckily, these are very common transferable skills that you can bring out in your CV through previous professional work experience, hobbies, and voluntary roles. Again, specific examples are more impactful than vague, sweeping statements.

Who needs transferable skills on their CV?

Every job seeker needs transferable skills on their CV. Whilst most people will find that these skills shine through naturally on their CV, emphasising those skills is absolutely crucial for certain types of job hunters. 

In particular, people wishing to change careers and those just leaving education will need to put much more focus on their transferable skills to make up for the lack of hard skills and work experience in the field they're aiming for.

Where to include transferable skills on your CV

Ready to start listing some transferable skills on your CV? You have two main options to consider here:

Dedicated CV section

The most obvious place to highlight your transferable skills is in a dedicated section, which you can call "Key Skills," "Core Competencies" or "Areas of Expertise." 

For most job seekers, this section will focus on hard skills directly relevant to a specific role, but for career changers and university graduates , this is where transferable skills will come into their own.

Other CV sections 

There are also other sections on your CV where you can make reference to your transferable skills. The profile section and personal statement is a prime spot to highlight the one or two skills most relevant to the job you're aiming for. 

Additionally, in your career history, you can include some transferable skills, rather than (or as well as) industry- or role-specific skills. And, if you choose to include a hobbies section on your CV , this is the perfect place to advertise skills you've acquired outside of work.

Tips for including transferable skills on your CV

There's an art to understanding what transferable skills to include on your CV. Before you get started, below are some key pointers to make these skills work to your advantage when applying for jobs:

Do some research first 

To include transferable skills on your CV, first identify the key skills that apply to the kind of job you're targeting. To do this, look through relevant job adverts and analyse the LinkedIn profiles of people currently in similar roles.

Include the most in-demand skills 

Another strategic move is identifying what transferable skills are sought-after in your target sector. Once you know these in-demand skills, you can start to work them into your CV. Make sure to weave them into your CV naturally or include them in such a way that they'll stand out.

Add some specific examples 

You'll make the biggest impact by providing specific examples, rather than by simply stating you have a certain skill. Consider the credibility of "Possesses good customer service skills" against “Delivered excellent customer service by resolving complaints quickly" or "Achieved 95% in mystery shopping assessments."

Advance your career with transferable skills 

Transferable skills are a vital part of your job search ‒ and your CV. They enable you to show a recruiter or employer how your skills align with the requirements of the role, even if your experience doesn't directly relate.

Even those wishing to move up the career ladder in the same industry can maximise the use of transferable skills on their CV to demonstrate that they have the higher-level abilities required to progress. The key is to integrate them naturally into your CV with examples, rather than just adding one long, dry list. 

What are the transferable skills you have on your CV – and are you properly showcasing them? Submit it for a free CV review and let our experts help you out.

This article was originally written by Jen David and has been updated by Charlotte Grainger.

Recommended reading:

11 free online resources for learning in-demand skills

The best skills to include in your CV (with examples)

Blending hard & soft skills on your CV effectively

Related Articles:

What are hard skills? List and examples to include in your CV

Breaking the taboo: discussing salary expectations with your employer

The value of critical thinking in the modern job market

See how your CV stacks up.

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American Psychological Association

Webpage on a Website References

This page contains reference examples for webpages, including the following:

  • Webpage on a news website
  • Comment on a webpage on a news website
  • Webpage on a website with a government agency group author
  • Webpage on a website with an organizational group author
  • Webpage on a website with an individual author
  • Webpage on a website with a retrieval date

1. Webpage on a news website

Bologna, C. (2019, October 31). Why some people with anxiety love watching horror movies . HuffPost.

Roberts, N. (2020, June 10). Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, qualifies to run for elected office . BET News.

Toner, K. (2020, September 24). When Covid-19 hit, he turned his newspaper route into a lifeline for senior citizens . CNN.

  • Parenthetical citations : (Bologna, 2019; Roberts, 2020; Toner, 2020)
  • Narrative citations : Bologna (2019), Roberts (2020), and Toner (2020)
  • Use this format for articles from news websites. Common examples are BBC News, BET News, Bloomberg, CNN, HuffPost, MSNBC, Reuters, Salon, and Vox. These sites do not have associated daily or weekly newspapers.
  • Use the newspaper article category for articles from newspaper websites such as The New York Times or The Washington Post .
  • Provide the writer as the author.
  • Provide the specific date the story was published.
  • Provide the title of the news story in italic sentence case.
  • List the name of the news website in the source element of the reference.
  • End the reference with the URL.

2. Comment on a webpage on a news website

Owens, L. (2020, October 7). I propose a bicycle race between Biden and Trump [Comment on the webpage Here’s what voters make of President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis ]. HuffPost.

  • Parenthetical citation : (Owens, 2020)
  • Narrative citation : Owens (2020)
  • Credit the person who left the comment as the author using the format that appears with the comment (i.e., a real name and/or a username). The example shows a real name.
  • Provide the specific date the comment was published.
  • Provide the comment title or up to the first 20 words of the comment in standard font. Then in square brackets write “Comment on the webpage” and the title of the webpage on which the comment appeared in sentence case and italics.
  • Provide the name of the news website in the source element of the reference.
  • Link to the comment itself if possible. Otherwise, link to the webpage on which the comment appears. Either a full URL or a short URL is acceptable.

3. Webpage on a website with a government agency group author

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety disorders . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

  • Parenthetical citation : (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018)
  • Narrative citation : National Institute of Mental Health (2018)
  • For a page on a government website without individual authors, use the specific agency responsible for the webpage as the author.
  • The names of parent agencies not present in the author element appear in the source element (in the example, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health). This creates concise in-text citations and complete reference list entries.
  • Provide as specific a date as possible for the webpage.
  • Some online works note when the work was last updated. If this date is clearly attributable to the specific content you are citing rather than the overall website, use the updated date in the reference.
  • Do not include a date of last review in a reference because content that has been reviewed has not necessarily been changed. If a date of last review is noted on a work, ignore it for the purposes of the reference.
  • Italicize the title of the webpage.

4. Webpage on a website with an organizational group author

World Health Organization. (2018, May 24) . The top 10 causes of death .

  • Parenthetical citation : (World Health Organization, 2018)
  • Narrative citation : World Health Organization (2018)
  • For a page from an organization’s website without individual authors, use the name of the organization as the author.
  • Because the author of the webpage and the site name are the same, omit the site name from the source element to avoid repetition.

5. Webpage on a website with an individual author

Horovitz, B. (2021, October 19). Are you ready to move your aging parent into your home? AARP.

Schaeffer, K. (2021, October 1). What we know about online learning and the homework gap amid the pandemic. Pew Research Center.

  • Parenthetical citations : (Horovitz, 2021; Schaeffer, 2021)
  • Narrative citations : Horovitz (2021) and Schaeffer (2021)
  • When individual author(s) are credited on the webpage, list them as the author in the reference.
  • Provide the site name in the source element of the reference.

6. Webpage on a website with a retrieval date

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock . U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from

  • Parenthetical citation : (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)
  • Narrative citation : U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.)
  • When contents of a page are designed to change over time but are not archived, include a retrieval date in the reference.

Webpage references are covered in the seventh edition APA Style manuals in the Publication Manual Section 10.16 and the Concise Guide Section 10.14

how to type a reference page for resume


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    Do not include a date of last review in a reference because content that has been reviewed has not necessarily been changed. If a date of last review is noted on a work, ignore it for the purposes of the reference. Italicize the title of the webpage. Provide the site name in the source element of the reference. End the reference with the URL.