Where should you put references in your resume? The answer to this question is – you don’t.
The purpose of having references is to back you up on all the claims you make on your resume. The good news is, if a prospective employer asks for references, chances are pretty good that s/he is serious about giving you the job.
But – you have to be ready. Plan ahead. Put those ducks in a row, and do not spring any surprises. Here are some step-by-step tips to gathering and including references.
First Things First
Normally, the best references are people for whom you’ve worked and people who know you personally (but not necessarily professionally). You want a number of each; three in each category is pretty standard, but it’s a good idea to have at least five, and preferably seven people who can vouch for your work habits and character.
The first step is to write down the names of everyone you can think of you might be willing to do this for you. They may include:
• former supervisors
• former colleagues
• former college professors
• personal friends
• relatives who know you well
Again, you want to get as many names on this list as possible.
Second Step: Talk To Them
Nothing is worse than putting somebody on the spot when a prospective employer calls them out of the blue. You need to talk to these people and let them know what’s going on. Tell them what you’re up to, make sure you have the latest contact info, and ask them what their preferred method of contact is (post, email, telephone). You should provide them with a copy of your resume as well.
As mentioned above, the References page should be separate from your resume and handed over to your prospective employer only when requested. This said, here is what a “professional” reference (supervisor, co-worker) should look like:
Manager In Charge of Everything
6971 Asphalt Street
Anytown, PA 14923
A personal reference is similar, except that you need not include job title and company:
Mack K. Maus
1122 Fantasyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 91172
There…that was simple enough, wasn’t it?