Resume References

A resume reference is some one who can verify your credentials and all or part of the information you have written in your resume. References are usually contacted in the last stages of the job selection procedure. Probably after the candidate has attended the first interview.

You have to know your references well and be sure that they can give a good feedback, to anybody asking questions about your past.

Resume references can be:

  • Former teachers or professors
  • Clients
  • Former project managers or supervisors
  • Other contacts from industry associations

It is best to check your references before you give them to a potential employer. How ? Call and ask them what they think about you! If you hesitate to do this, ask a friend who can do it for you. If you ask a previous manager if you can use them as a reference they will probably answer 'yes'. However you never know if this person will give a good reference or a bad one about you.

Resume references have to be able to answer questions on the following subjects:

  • Professional Conduct / Personal Character
  • Academic Qualifications
  • Work Experience (job titles, responsibilities, employment dates)
  • Communication Skills (oral and written)
  • Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Management / Leadership Skills
  • Attitude (attendance, punctuality, dependability)
In a resume you generally do not list your references unless it is specified in the job advert. The phrase 'references available upon request' is one of the most common phrases in resumes. In case you do make sure they are reliable references. A good reference can substantiate the contents of your resume and can be the decisive factor in your job hunt.

Some employers now a days even give the 'No Comment' when being asked about an employee. Still others spill their guts on your negative aspects. So be sure to check any references you list in your resume or give to a potential employer after the first interview. Ideally references have known you for more than a year.