References & Recomendation Letters

Never put your references on your resume. You can say “References available upon request” IF you need to fill space but otherwise, don’t even mention it. Recruiter/Employers will ask for references if they want them, whether or not you have said you have them. Your references should always be on their own page, with the same header as your resume and cover letter. They can include anyone and any number of people, unless the person requesting them specifies who they should be and how many they would like. If they do not specify, I think three to four is plenty and a mix of people you have reported to, people you have worked with, and people who you have served (clients/customers), if applicable, gives an employer a well-rounded picture of you.

Always ask people for their permission before you give their name as a reference, And, even if they give you blanket permission, let them know each time you give their name and contact information to someone. Let them know the position for which you are being considered, the employer, why you think you are a strong candidate, and ideally who interviewed you and what kinds of questions they asked in the interview. If you want to go the extra mile, send them the job posting and the cover letter and resume you submitted. This not only insures they are not surprised if they receive a call or an email from the employer but allows them to think about what they want to say. You can also find out if they are unreachable or no longer willing to be a reference and you need to provide an alternate name to the employer.

Reference letters never hurt and are great in cases where someone who can provide relevant information about you to an employer is unreachable. However, people that an employer can call or email are better as the employer can ask about whatever it is that matters most to them and know that it is authentic. Note, a reference letter from someone who is also willing and able to speak with an employer to verify the information given, or provide additional information, is far better than just a written letter (which quite frankly, could have been written by an imposter). Keeping reference letters in your portfolio is also a good idea so that you can read them whenever you need a confidence boost.

References and Recommendation Letters at Career Incite

Always ask people for their permission before you give their name as a reference