Improve your resume by presenting your references the right way.

Having the right resume references can add the extra touch to your job application that makes employers take notice. But how should you present your references on your resume?

Employers want to know how they can learn about you from your references as well as how to contact them. Depending on the work experience on your current resume, there are a few different ways of including your references with your resume or application.

Saving References for the Interview

If your resume makes a compelling statement about your qualifications, you can leave references off your resume altogether. Instead, make a separate reference sheet you can bring to your job interview.

Applicants with an extensive list of qualifications often want to save precious space on their resume to list their abilities. Unless employers are in doubt about your work history and skills, they probably will wait to contact your references until late in hiring process, after your job interview.

If you think the work history and skills listed on your resume will get you to the job interview, leave the references off your resume and bring them in on a separate sheet later on. Make sure to let your employer know that you have references available upon request.

Including References on Your Resume

If you’re a student with a short job history or a little internship experience, and have empty space on your resume, consider including 2 or 3 references directly on your resume.

While typically used only for work experience and academic background, a couple of well-chosen references can boost a shorter resume. If you decide to provide your references directly on your resume, include them at the bottom in their own separate section.

Make sure the references on your resume can tell your potential employer about different facets of your work abilities and personality. An adviser in the same field can attest to the skills you’ll bring to the job, while a supervisor will know your diligence as an employee.

Creating a Separate Reference Sheet

lf you’d like to leave more space on your resume for a longer employment history or skill set, you can create a separate sheet for your references.

Including your references on a separate sheet allows you more room to provide additional references with your resume, but keep the list to a manageable 4 or 5 names.

Using reference sheets also gives you the option to create separate sheets for sets of references that highlight your different skills. Think about keeping different reference sheets for personal and professional references, and have both on hand with a paper version of your resume in case they’re needed in an interview.

Make sure you also include your own name and contact information on your reference sheet so that if doesn’t get misplaced or disconnected from your resume.

Preparing a Reference for Your Application

Once you’ve decided on the references for your resume who will highly recommend you and your work, gather the information employers will expect to see on your application.

This list should include the name of the reference, his or her employer, title, phone number and address.

Use the contact information at your references’ places of employment rather than listing personal or home numbers – your references will have more authority coming from their workplace, and you can assure them that their privacy will be protected.

Conclude the reference listing on your resume with a short statement detailing how you know the person. One complete sentence should be enough for your employer to determine what each of the references on your resume can say about your qualifications for the position.

But the references on your resume won’t matter if the HR department or hiring manager doesn’t like the look of your resume.