Home » References on Resumes: Are They Necessary?

References on Resumes: Are They Necessary?

A resume can usually be customized in different ways, such as using a nice design, adding infographics, including various sections, etc. Sometimes, trying to make a great paper, you may think of including references. As you probably know that references on resumes are usually not obligatory, such as your work experience or education, so do you really need to add them to make a better impression on a recruiter? Let’s find out the answer to this question.

How to Define References?

First of all, let’s figure out what references are. Basically, people can give their opinion and impression of your skills, abilities, habits, etc. It’s one of the methods used by recruiters to find out how a candidate has performed in the previous positions.

When providing the list of such people, understand that the recruiter may contact them in order to obtain certain information about you. Therefore, it’s important to choose those who can describe you from a positive side.

Should You Add References in Your Resume?

You would meet references in all resumes a few decades ago, but today, they’re considered an old method. However, this does not mean that your application will not be read by a person who prefers a more traditional approach to modern requirements. So, get ready to add references to your resume if it’s needed.

Basically, the answer to this question is quite simple — add them if by a recruiter and omit this information if it’s not asked for.

Who to Ask to Be Your Reference?

If a potential employer wants to see the list of people to talk to about you, do this. However, this may appear quite difficult to find several people who can recommend you. Add the information about three-five persons to contact regarding your previous work or study.

First of all, it’s preferable to pick people who can provide the information relevant to the job position you’re going to apply for. It will be easy to do if you have some experience in the same field and can provide information, let’s say, about your previous manager. If you’re a just-graduated student, provide contact details of your tutor.

Avoid adding to the list of contact details of your family members and close friends. All in all, keep it professional.

Another important point to keep in mind is that it’s essential to ask those people for permission to add them to the paper. This way, you’ll notify them about the possibility of being contacted by someone, check their availability, and get the right information from them to include in your paper.

How to Add References in Your Resume Correctly?

Now that you’ve found the names, figure out what other details you may need. Below, you’ll find a standard format to follow:

  • Full name;
  • Position;
  • Company name;
  • Address of the company;
  • Contact details of the person (email address, phone, etc.).

Do not include the references as another section among others in your resume. It’s recommended to dedicate a separate page to add them, which should go right after the resume. Remember that you do not want to send a too long document, and while a two-page resume is fine, try to make it one page because you’ll make another page anyway.

How to Check Your Work?

Once you’ve prepared a list of references, go through the text carefully to make sure that you have all the names and other details written correctly and all the punctuation marks in the right places.

Other things to pay attention include the following:

  1. The design of this page should match the overall design of the resume. Although applicants place this information on a separate page, altogether you’ll get a single document;
  2. The format should remain the same, add the same set of information for each person.


References are not an essential part of resumes today. However, if you’re asked to include them by a potential employer, take this seriously. This means that you should choose people, contact them and ask for permission or any additional details, and make the list with their contacts on a separate page. It’s crucial to make sure that all this information has been well-formatted, and the page comes with a proper design.