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Professional References

The professional reference list is a separate sheet that details your references’ contact information. It will be included in an application packet or submitted online as a separate document. When developing your reference list, consider the following:

  • Use the same heading for your references as you have on your resume.
  • Employers typically ask for 3-5 references so try getting at least 5 when you start your job search. If the employer only wants 3 or 4, choose the 3 or 4 most relevant to the position and industry.
  • Do not include anyone on your reference list without asking their permission first.
  • Do not include personal references unless the employer specifically requests them. The exception to this would be for a young student without a work history.
  • References should be provided only when asked for. Do not include them with your application, or with the submission of your resume, unless they are requested.
  • Bring them with you to your interview but submit them only if you are asked to.
  • Contact your references as soon as you have handed out the reference list. You may want to send them a current copy of your resume, as well as a description of the position for which you’ve interviewed.
  • If you know that your references were contacted, send a thank you note.
  • Do not reference them in your resume (i.e. “References provided upon request”).

PLEASE NOTE: The Professional Reference list should be on a separated page from your resume and should be provided on request from the employer.

You can find a sample Professional Reference List here.