Best References List Template for a Job Application (+ Free Download) [2020]

references template

References provide your employer with an opportunity to validate your work history, experience, accomplishments, and general ability to perform on the job. A reference page is often included as part of your job application assets. You may end up sending three pages worth of information to your employer; your cover letter, resume, and reference list.

This page contains basic information about your reference. It includes their name, phone number, email address, mailing address (optional), and relationship to you. In most cases, reference lists are for a job seeker finding employment. But a character reference list can be used for things like rental applications or other personal needs where the personal character needs to be validated.

References are usually provided by the following people or person:

These are types of people who you may want to list on your reference list. As a manager, you may be asked by a former employee to be a reference. If you receive a reference request, you won’t need to fill out this reference template. You will only need to approve the request and provide your colleague with your information. Same goes for providing a personal reference, you will not need to fill out a reference list for your friend or family member.

The format of your reference letter is simplistic in nature. It should be a set of data in a list format that allows your hiring manager or potential employer to quickly see each job reference and their contact information. It should not be written in letter format, using sentences or paragraphs. The reference list template provided in this resource should be sufficient for filling out your references as an applicant.

Job seekers often ask, how many references should be present? The answer is anywhere from 3 to 5 references. If a new reference you received is more important than the older references you have, be sure to replace them. Good references would be any previous employee that you worked with who has a significant job title or job function. Or simply a more recent reference. Each professional reference should be recent. If a professional reference is not recent and you’d like to list them, you should speak with them and confirm they are still accepting of you listing them as a reference.

A prospective employer may or may not contact each reference after your job interview. In the event this reference template is being used for personal reasons, like for a rental application, you should expect your landlord to contact your employment reference.

The below template can be used for both personal and professional reasons. When using the template for personal reasons, you should change the parameter in “relationship” to something personal versus a previous employer.

When building your references for your resume, it’s important that you add this as a reference sheet (another piece of paper or what’s called a job reference page) and not adding it as a reference section as part of your resume sections (like education, experience, and skills).

An example of what each reference should look like and contain in terms of contact information is the following:

John Jones
Apple Inc.
VP of Marketing
Previous Manager/Supervisor
references template download

Reference Letter & References List Template

Download this reference letter template in Microsoft Word format. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template


Questions from job seekers regarding their references and their job search.

Will Applicant Tracking Systems mark my references as plagiarism?

No. Applicant Tracking Systems will not mark your resume references as plagiarism since there is a high likelihood that a supervisor may be a reference to multiple future job seekers.

Can I use this references template for an academic or a scientific manuscript?

You should not use this template for these purposes.

Do I need to have a recommendation letter from each of my references?

No. As long as you submitted a reference request to the person you’re asking to be a reference, and they replied with their approval, you don’t need a recommendation. Their confirmation of being part of your reference list is their recommendation.

Does my contact information need to be on my reference page?

No it does not. Your contact information will be on both your resume and cover letter. If you're sending a personal reference, you may want to include your contact information in the letterhead. Though, this is optional depending on how much information the other party has on file.

Reference Letter Resources

References Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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