References Available Upon Request on Your Resume (Examples)
References available upon request! When you're submitting an application for a job, it is important to be fully prepared. This means you need to have your resume complete with contact information, a cover letter, and your references with their information.
We don't recommend just noting references available upon request on your resume.
For hiring managers, this will most likely be an instant red flag.
In this guide, we'll drill down into what your resume should look like and why references are vital when submitting a resume.
Sample resume for job seekers
Let's start by taking a closer look at a resume.
There are several different aspects to a resume but every template is designed to cover the main parts.
These main parts include:
We're going to dig deeper into each of these categories and talk about what you should expect to place into each one.
The career objective is designed so you can communicate to the hiring manager. Communicate what you want in a career.
This is typically a short statement that starts off your resume. It's meant to draw in hiring managers to read more.
What you need to know is you're taking up valuable space. If you're going to include an objective, don't make it vague and senseless.
Resume experts recommend having your elevator speech ready for this section. A quick couple of sentences explaining why you fit the position and outlining qualifications.
Remember this is almost an introduction to the rest of your resume out of the box so just keep it short and sweet.
Your work history is almost like any job application. You're letting potential employers know your experience and what you've done in the workplace.
This will give a hiring manager some idea of the type of experience you have. And whether any of it is relative to the position you're applying for.
Your resume is meant to share your background and set you apart from other candidates.
This job history detail will share previous employers, previous titles, and basically describe your duties and experience.
Work experience will be listed here with employer details. List detail in a professional manner without overusing words and descriptions. Reference your LinkedIn profile, too.
Education will be brief. You don't need to share where you went to elementary school.
If you're at an entry-level point in your career, you most likely will mention a high school diploma or equivalent.
From there, you'll list higher education and degrees. If you've had specific education relevant to the job, you can list this as well.
When it comes to skills, this section is often either overrated or used incorrectly on a resume.
A resume needs to share skills related to the job. Don't list characteristics here. Those are not the skills they are looking for.
Typing in "hard worker" is not a skill. Employers expect this and it's an overused term on a resume.
You can share career achievements or career background like customer service or even communication but don't overdo it and be mindful about using mundane or repetitive skills.
Finally, certifications is self-explanatory. You may or may not have any certifications to add.
However, if you do, this is the place to put them.
For example, an investment banker might have a Series 7 license. A teacher might have a teaching certificate.
There are many more examples that can fall into this category. If you're certified or license and it is applicable, list it here!
Why are references important?
A newer resume writer might actually tell you that adding references to a resume is outdated.
We don't really share that opinion. You should provide references and you should make them stellar.
This allows you the chance to set yourself apart. Hiring managers may try to call references before they reach out to you for any potential interviewing.
Some jobs require contacting references as part of the normal hiring process/practices before you're an official employee, as well.
Even if you don't put references on your resume, you will need to have references available upon request, complete with their contact information.
At some point, you will most likely need to share those references to get the job.
What does "references available upon request" mean?
This term or phrase has typically been used in order to keep a resume to one page. It eliminates that separate document that has the references listed and detailed on it.
Typing "available upon request" onto your resume was always meant to indicate that you do have references but in order to stick to one page or avoid an added page, you will share them when the employer asks.
The phrase listed on resumes is entirely unnecessary. References are an expectation for most jobs. You either list them or you don't.
The companies and hiring personnel can determine when the right time is to get reference detail from you.
Alternatives to references available upon request
There is no alternative phrase. Instead, drop it entirely.
Either add the references or just leave the line out completely.
As a candidate, recruiters and people who hire will either use what you provide or will simply ask for the contact detail when they need it.
Where do you put the "references available upon request" note?
Now you're probably trying to figure out where to tell the companies that you have professional references available.
If you don't have references prepped and ready to go—you definitely should! Create a document that you can set aside and provide when it becomes relevant to share.
Save time and space and just keep them handy or provide them separately if the job listing requests references.
Do NOT add this phrase! It's simply not necessary and it's no longer a valuable note in the process.
Should you put "references available upon request" on a cover letter?
If you want to mention in your cover letter that you have references available—you can. You won't want to dedicate a lot to this phrase, though.
Additionally, we don't recommend that you use this phrase at all. As you introduce yourself in your cover letter, you can say that you have a reference list, but it's not required or necessary.
Should you put "references available upon request" on a resume?
Your resume is really meant to be all about your work experience.
You answer the question about whether or not you make a good professional candidate.
Consider the resume a summary for a future employer or perhaps recruiters to create a picture of your background.
The potential employer will most likely never notice this phrase on your resume.
We recommend not adding the phrase, entirely. Use a separate sheet to share career reference detail or wait until they are requested, and go from there.
Take our advice and use that little bit of word space for putting something more valuable for the potential employer to appreciate.
Benefits of listing it
There really is not much sense in writing out that you have references. When it comes to different jobs, they will assume that you can provide this detail for them.
However, if a job listing requests references, you should go ahead and add them to your resume.
This does not mean you should say they're available when requested.
The only real benefit of placing this word is as more of an "FYI" for the person handling the job placement. However, it's really an extra step that simply isn't needed.
"References available upon request" vs. a reference list
So do you share your personal information right off the bat, tell them it's available, or expand when you're asked?
Keep an up-to-date reference listing available and handy. Many job seekers forget to have this on hand.
Consider this. You're applying for your dream job. Are you going to give it your all or just put minimal effort into the job application and resume process.
Which is better to use
When it comes down to it. Submit your resume either with the references attached separate from the resume or leave this particular term off the resume completely.
We recommend providing references as an attachment to your resume. However, if you choose to wait, rather than include them on the resume, skip writing this phrase entirely.
There are some exceptions
For example, professional women are sometimes held to a higher standard. Showing you have a strong work ethic and you're prepared is always a valuable characteristic for any resume.
If you're a freelance writer or a contract worker of any kind, you might submit a resume that has statement. As this takes a different approach to apply for positions and get interviews.
In this scenario, your profession is writing article content, so your jobs and your references are going to reflect that.
Another resume example might be for a realtor who shows or sells valuable real estate. Your references and resume detail are probably going to look a little different here and your references will most likely be past clients. Meaning, your list could be long. Using this term could indicate that you're ready to share more.
Always double-check with anyone that you plan to use for reference purposes so they can have a head's up and be prepared should they get a call or contact related to your professional application. A quick word of advice is to use people who really know your value in the workplace.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
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