Myth---Always List References on Your Resume

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So, why not put your references on your resume?

If your references are listed on your resume, do us both a favor: Stop reading right now, get your resume, and delete the references immediately. Don’t wait another minute!

Go ahead. We’ll wait. 

The rest of us realize that including references on a resume is done to take up space. It is a blatant attempt to mask the fact that you haven’t listed enough of your qualifications and abilities on your resume. Oh, trust me, you have plenty of qualifications and abilities. You simply haven’t taken the time or referred to the appropriate resources (i.e. worked with a professional resume writer) to list your selling points. Shame. Your resume is there to list all of your abilities and experiences to persuade the potential employer to call you in for an interview. 

Or, maybe you feel your references are so impressive that you don’t need to list your skills and qualifications. Double shame. While having impressive, credible references are important, showing yourself as a qualified candidate is the first order of business. Let your resume finish that job before moving on to references.

If an employer wants your references, they’ll ask you for them. Keep a separate document with three to five references listed. Include professional references as well as former supervisors. List each of their names, employers, phone numbers and email addresses. A nice touch is to list your relationship with each reference. When the time comes, email this list to your potential employer, or have a printed copy ready at your interview. 

Quality references are great to have, but keep them off your resume.

Oh, good, you’ve eliminated your references from your resume? Perfect. Don’t you feel better?


Let’s get to work!