Free download below shows you a professional resume on references format.

How to format a list of job references

The best way to put your references on a resume is to use the names of professional associates you have come to know and trust.

Avoid using friends or family as resume references, but focus on putting down people on your references list that you have worked with in your career and who can vouch for you and your professional work.

References on your resume should be people you have worked with who are also in the same industry as you.

Think about it, if you’re seeking a job as a programmer with Microsoft, and one of your resume references is a bread maker you used to work with many years ago, then no matter how many good things the bread maker says about you, it just won’t carry much weight with Microsoft.

But on the other hand, if your resume reference is from another large software company like Oracle, then the Oracale references will carry much more weight with Microsoft, and in some cases, the right job reference is like gold and get get you hired at almost any company.

Job References Format – References for Resume

Formatting your resume references  is a relatively simple task. All you need are the names and contact information for at least three to four of your best job references.  Below you’ll find a sample reference list.

To begin putting your references on a resume, you’ll want to format your page as follows:   – see free resume reference page below.

[Title – Centered]

Professional References for Susan Smith

I would even suggest putting it in a 12-14 point bold font.

Then very simply list your references using this format and keep them left justified.

Reference Name
Company where they work, their position
City, State
Email address:
Phone or Cell Phone number: 216-555-1212

Then proceed to the next reference.

Here is a Sample reference list that shows you can download for free:

Resume References Page

Resume References Format – Sample List of Job references

You want recent references from people who can not only vouch for your character, but the quality of work that you do. Having another programmer as one of your references is much more powerful than a bread maker. The bread maker is a huge over exaggeration, but I think you see my point.

Make sure you call each one of your job references and personally ask them if it’s okay if you put them down as a resume reference. And most importantly, make sure you are positive these people will give you a good reference. If you are slightly unsure about someone, then don’t use them.

The Best Job References Format

I have another article with a video on how to format a list of job references which does a really good job of showing you a professional job references format and is very easy to copy and adapt to your own resume reference page.

Your resume reference page can contain past co-workers, managers, even customers. I generally list about four to six different references on my references page using the above resume references format.

Also, I strongly suggest avoiding putting the ubiquitous “references available upon request” on your resume. If an employer wants them, then they’ll ask you. Avoid volunteering references too – it’s just too pushy. If an employer is getting ready to make you an offer then they will ask you for references and if they do, this is also the time to give them any letters of recommendation you may have.

Avoid volunteering letters of recommendation – only present them when you are asked for  your references.

Try not to wear out your list of references either.  It’s always a good idea to give them a call every now and then and keep in touch. Let them know how you are doing and that you really appreciate them acting as a resume reference for you.

If you need a professional references template, this reference list works great.