SECTION E: References

You will list references on a separate page, not on your resume.  Avoid using family and friends.  Generally, three or four professional or academic references and one personal reference will be sufficient.  Be sure to get permission from any reference before using someone’s name! 

Be certain that your references understand that they may be contacted up to 15 or 20 times.  If your job search is strong and steady, and your résumés are doing their job, you should be getting calls.  This means a lot of work from the people willing to be in your corner.

Remember that your references need the latest version of the résumé you are sending to a potential employer so that they are in the best position to answer/address questions appropriately. 

After every reference response you need to send a thank you note for your reference’s time and energy on your behalf.

If you get a telephone interview and your interviewer wants references, you need to ask:

  1. In what form would they like the references? (Print versus electronic?)
  2. How far back does the employer want you to go? (5 years? 10? 15?)
  3. How many references would your employer like?


References Worksheet (Word Document version) (PDF version)