References on a resume are contacts that a prospective employer can call during the hiring process to check your previous work experience, job performance, and what kind of an employee you are to work with. Your references should include people from your professional life who can vouch for your qualifications for the job you are applying for. The number of references you include in your reference list will depend on your career level. Entry-level positions generally require about three references , while more senior positions may require five to seven references from different times in your professional history. For the most part, prospective employers will give you guidance on how many references they will want you to include on your reference page.
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How to List References on a Resume
A list of references includes people a prospective employer might contact to learn more information about you. These people should be able to speak to your qualifications for a job. Sometimes an employer will contact only one person on the list, and other times an employer will contact everyone. A list of strong references can be a great way to demonstrate your qualifications for a position.
As a job-seeker, one of your most important assets is your stock of professional references. Letter, email, and phone recommendations can elevate a good candidate to a top choice; they can also drop a good candidate down to the no-longer-considered pile. The most important thing is to ask people who have good things to say about you to be your references. When you ask for references, I recommend doing so via an indirect method, such as email. Indirect approaches allow a recommender to decline much more easily than a direct approach.
Seeking employment is similar to being in business. Your resume is like your brand, and a personal reference is like a customer testimonial. Prepare a personal reference list in advance of applying for a job, even if you are currently employed. Include a variety of people who can speak to your job-related skills and dependability, including peers from professional associations and close acquaintances.