Sample Resume Reference Page

The resume reference page, has become a separate entity in the employment market. References are now a form of qualification, and the reference page needs some planning. 

Resume Reference Page Issues and Problems

The requirements for resume references can vary considerably. Providing your professional and personal references may involve supplying specific information required by employers. That process can become complicated, and in some cases quite difficult.

Usually, employers will state the number and types of references required.

Requirements for references may include:

  • Former employers: This may involve a formal statement regarding your previous employment or other information, or it may require a statement on letterhead from a manager.

These “official” types of references can be problems.

  1. The most recent former employer may be your current employer, whom you may or may not wish to know you're seeking employment elsewhere. Previous jobs may have been years ago.
  2.  It’s not always easy to obtain permission to use a former employer as a reference. If you left your previous job in a state of war with the employer, it’s not very likely you’ll get one, either.

If you can’t obtain useful references from your former employers, it’s advisable to explain the situation to the employer, and ask what form of references would be acceptable in lieu.

  • Work references: In some countries, “official” references from former employers aren’t usually given, but work references are.  These are references provided by individuals, not specifically from an employer, with the approval of management. Supervisors, managers, and others may provide private references which are particularly valuable because these are the people who can speak about your work from experience.

These are the classic reliable job references, and are highly valued in the employment industry as providing current, relevant information to prospective employers. You should have at least two or three work references which can cover your current work.

  • Personal references: The value of personal references is debated. Some say that good references are therefore seen as less valuable, simply because they’re personal references.

Personal references from industry professionals or senior academics, however, are highly useful in providing strong background for your work record and skills.

  • Educational references: These references are useful at entry level, and are particularly helpful for postgraduate jobs in providing information regarding academic achievements and professional abilities.  

Good educational references are sometimes priceless, particularly in professional areas where your qualifications are a primary consideration. Researchers, for example, are dependent to some extent on their academic references for professional credentials.

Resume Reference Page Protocols

The basic protocols are:

  • Do not list references on your resume. Just use a sub heading, “References: Available upon request.”
  • Make sure you have permission to use the names and contact details of your references before listing them on your resume reference page. (Make sure you keep these details current).
  • Do not use private contact numbers or other private forms of contact in your reference.
  • List each reference with a heading stating the type of reference being provided, and keep the information purely functional.

Work and Academic Reference

Dr. J. Smith

Senior Lecturer

ABCD College


IL 60602-4344