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How to Select References to Include in Your Resume

Veronica Wright -- When you walk into an interview, you should come armed with two documents. The first is, of course, your resume. The other might surprise you.

A complete and well organized reference sheet is the perfect complement to a professionally written resume or CV. Interviewers will be impressed that you have taken this extra step, and that you are so prepared. Just do the necessary legwork to ensure that everything is complete and accurate, and that your references are willing participants. Your efforts will be worth it.

When you walk into an interview, you should come armed with two documents. The first is, of course, your resume. The other document you will need is your reference page for your resume. There are several reasons you will want to bring this along with you.

-- If your interviewer is really interested, they might want to start contacting your references right away. Having the reference page for your resume on hand makes that easy for them.

-- In some cases, interviewers will contact references as you are interviewing. This is somewhat common when you are speaking to several different people in a single interview.

-- If you have this information organized and ready to hand over, it makes you appear to be put together and well organized.

-- It is less likely to appear that you have fudged any reference information if you have it available immediately.

Keeping this kind of information in a separate document allows to keep your resume as clean, organized, and streamlined as possible. That's very much appreciated by HR professionals who scan hundreds of resumes each day. Of course, now that you know why you should make this page, it's time to go into how to make a resume reference page.

Why not just include the information with your resume?

The main reason for keeping your professional resume reference sheet separate is to protect the information of those who have agreed to help you. Agreeing to have their information shared with somebody who is truly interested in hiring you, is much different than allowing their contact information to be submitted to dozens of different businesses who happen to advertise job openings. You don't want your friends, former coworkers, and past employers receiving spam or getting on unwanted email lists because too many people were able to access their information.

Keep that information confidential until you are further along in the process. Your professional resume reference page should be for the eyes of those who are going to use it for its intended purposes only.

Getting people for your professional resume reference page

If you follow no other advice from this article, follow this advice. Never put anybody down as a reference without letting them know. If they have any hesitation about giving you a good recommendation, you want to find out from them. You don't want a potential employer to hear that. It's also a bit of common courtesy that they not be blindsided by sudden calls and emails. It can be a bit nerve-wracking to ask people to serve as a reference for your resume or CV. Just remember that most people are flattered by the request. After all, you've essentially told them that you believe that their endorsement carries enough weight. A brief, but cordial email asking if they would be willing to be a reference is fine. A phone call works as well. Just be sure to verify that you have all of the right contact information.

Write a resume reference page for your own use

One way to learn how to make a reference page for resume is to create the first one for yourself. You can use a sample reference page as a guide. There are many of these online. Of course, this isn't just for practice. If you've ever been at an interview where you were also asked to fill out an application, having a personal sample reference page, comes in very handy. It's much easier to fill out the employment history section and reference section if you have a list of previous employers and their contact numbers. Keep your personal reference page in your pocket, wallet, or even stored on your mobile phone for quick and easy access.

Choose a reference page template

You have several options here. You can find your reference page template online and download it, or you can create your own. The only criteria is that there is a place to enter in all of the necessary information, that it is laid out in a way that makes sense, and that every entry looks the same. You don't want a potential employer searching for information. Also, avoid using a reference page for resume that uses too many graphics or other decorative flourishes. Think conservative when making your selection. Remember that even if you are in a creative line of work, the person checking your references might be a very down to business HR staff member.

Determine the sequence of your reference page for resume

You're well on your way to learning how to write a references page for a resume. Now it's time to determine which reference goes where on your sheet. Here is something to keep in mind, your potential new boss might not call every contact on your list, but they will almost certainly call the first one. So, make sure this is somebody who will really sing your praises. Don't think in terms of date sequence. Put your flagship reference at the top. This will be the old boss or coworker who was truly amazed by that great project you handled, or who will go on and on about your amazing leadership skills. Be sure to talk up that relationship and experience in your interview as well. You want to get the interviewer excited about contacting that person.

Filling out the reference information

This is the simplest part of the whole process. It's also the easiest to screw up. Take your time. Spell names correctly. Check and double check phone numbers and addresses. If you include links, make sure they are typed out correctly. You don't want to submit any embarrassing mistakes or typos. Be sure the interviewer has at least two ways to contact each one of them.

Offering the reference sheet

There's no point in learning how to write a reference page for a job if it never gets into the hands of your potential employer. If you aren't asked for it, don't be shy about offering it. You might save them a phone call later to ask for the information. It's also a great way to show that you are interested in the position and moving things along.

Source: Ezinearticles.com.

© 2016 Veronica Wright

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