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Section 2: Creating Must-Read References
References are a very important part to your entire resume package. Below are some key points concerning references.
Many people put “References Available Upon Request” on their resume. Why on earth would you want to imply, “While you look at the references of a competitor for this job, I would be happy to mail you my references three days from now, which is three days too late.”
Always submit your references to every job you apply for. People are literally hired because they offer up references while managers wait for other applicants’ references to come by mail, e-mail, or fax. Most managers do not—or cannot—wait.
Minimum of three
Have a minimum of three references and a maximum of six. See attached resume packages for more information on formatting resumes on the page.
Who to choose
If possible, always choose references that have supervised you in some way. This can be direct or indirect supervision. At the very least, choose someone who holds a higher position than you do.
Stay away from personal references. Most hiring managers will not care about what your friend of 15 years has to say. Stick to supervisors for best results.
Use teachers sparingly. Again, hiring managers want to talk to people that have managed you, not people who taught you. Teachers can be valuable, but only use them if you are void of references that have supervised you.
Connect references to resume
Ideally, you should find references from positions listed on your resume. For example, if you are presenting your experience from a mortgage company, a grocery store, and a bank, you would want to have at least one reference from each. Perhaps even two references from each, if past employers/employees are willing to vouch for you.
Last Updated: July 1, 2014