Resume Reference Format: Do’s and Don’t (With Examples)

Why do you write a reference for a resume?

If you are a fresh graduate, then you should read this article in detail. Because there is very little writing that is so simple and informative about resume reference format and guide. Let’s first know what a reference is and when and why you need it. 

A reference is a document that provides your professional background or information about you. Employers and human resource managers can contact the people on your reference list during the hiring process.

Through this, they learn about your professional history, job performance, and the skills you possess. 

Although some employers may ask you to submit a reference as part of the application process, in most cases they may ask after a phone screening, face-to-face interview, or before the final steps in the recruitment process.

When an employer asks for a reference, your job is to prepare a list of a few reliable contacts. Most companies will ask for two or three references from the candidate. 

So it is always best to have at least three readies. Some employers may request specific types of references.

Read more: Top 8 Common CV Mistakes According to the Recruiters

But usually, you can refer to former managers (or your current manager if they know and support you). Or if not, you can refer to the professors of your university with whom you have worked closely. 

How do references work in resumes?

Your resume should have a list of people in the reference section who can provide confirmation information on your behalf and give your future employer more information about your skills, personality, and qualities.

This may include your teacher, mentor, coach, coworker, known employer, or direct supervisor.

They know how you have used your skills in the past. In addition, you can find out more about the qualifications and characteristics of your professional resume. 

References help your future employer find out how you have performed in your previous job or throughout your academic career. They can get an idea about your professional attitude and qualifications before hiring you. 

Employers usually only contact your reference when they reach the final stage of the recruitment process. 

When should you keep the reference in your resume?

This is a common question that many people want to know. When and who should be listed in reference in the resume? 

Regardless of one’s job in the resume, the idea among many is that the bigger the reference, the greater the chances of getting an interview call. But this is not always right. Reference usually refers to your work. According to international rules, there is no need to keep references in the resume.

Because a company has a human resources department for this, it is its responsibility to check the background of a job candidate. However, in the case of the final nominated candidate, they do it with a lot of emphases.

Of course, it’s best to prepare a list of references in advance.

But in certain circumstances, references may be made to the resume format. This is especially important for a fresh candidate.

However, if you want to be sure when you should give a reference, then look at the following reasons: 

  • If a reference is asked in the job advertisement, you should write the reference in the resume without much hesitation. 
  • If there is a well-known person applying for a job in the company before and if you do not want to wait until the last round of the interview, then you must give a reference.
  • You are a fresh graduate. Perhaps you still don’t have enough experience to fill out your full resume. Moreover, as a student, you still have no good news to hear. In that case, you can use the references of the university professors. 
  • In addition, if you have been out of employment for a long time but now want to work in a new way, you can use the reference. 

But if none of the above applies to you, don’t do it. This is not expected. There are several reasons for this:

  • Employers do not have enough time to verify the references in each of their CVs. They will only check the references of the final candidates.
  • Your references agree to give your contact information to potential employers. Don’t betray their beliefs by sending them references about someone.
  • These are unnecessary for the employer or the human resources department.

If you are a student or a fresh graduate, who would you ask for a reference?

  1. Your university teacher or professor can give you information about your class participation, your performance, or how well you can do in the team. 
  2. If you have acquired any skills under a coach and trainer, they can recommend you for your leadership skills or the ability to work with others.
  3. Introduction to your volunteer work. They can support you with your desire, motivation, and skills to help the community. Also, volunteering is almost always impressive.
  4. If you have a supervisor from a part-time job or internship, you can mention their name in the CV. Because, they can tell you better about your experience, and performance. 

Effective ways to ask for references?

I have already said that at least three references should be prepared for those who want to be referred as references. Your listing is ready, but how do you want a reference? 

  • First, you call each of these people to ask permission. Or meet them if possible. And if these are not possible, please email. However, I think it is more professional to meet directly. This shows your interest in them.
  • Second, be sure to briefly remind them that you have given them a brief description of the work you have done together. By doing this, the referees who are aware of your career will take it seriously.
  • Also, send them a copy of the CV as an attachment. It will help them remember the times when you were working with them and remind them of your achievements and personality.
  • Be sure to express your gratitude at the end of your last email. Also, thank your references for taking the time to consider your request and reviewing your application. 

The rules of resume reference format:

Very simple. There are two ways to include your reference in the professional resume. Either provide a complete description of your references at the end of the resume or “Write the references in a line if you need to provide references on request. 

If you decide to provide a full description, consider listing your references in chronological order with the person you recently worked with. 

List of information that should be put in a reference:

Your name




Phone number/ E-mail

And finally, if you organize them, they will look like,

Tofayel ahmed

Assistant Professor

Department of Business Administration

Varendra University , Rajshahi

Phone No: +6017372407

Email: [email protected] 


A resume is a very important document through which you can land an interview board.

So to refrain from using irrelevant information in the resume, refer to those people who can say nice things about you.

You certainly don’t want anyone to ruin your job application. Put your biggest well-wishers first because employers probably start calling from the top of your list.

Finally, it is easier to find good references if you focus on your teamwork or expand your network. 

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Md. Tota Miah
Md. Tota Miah
Md. Tota Miah is a career counseling expert and a faculty member at Varendra University. He has a master’s degree in Management from the University of Rajshahi and has been teaching academic subjects for more than 7 years. Mr. Tota has a passion for helping others win with their personal development and career and has been writing about self-growth and lifestyle matters for 3 years. Youth Rider is the result of his dream and passion to share the knowledge and information that would ultimately help people around the world.

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