Importance of references in a resume

Importance of references in a resumeDuring the process of job hunting fresh graduates generally concentrate on preparing resumes and cover letters. After all CV is the first thing that will portray their skills in front of the potential employer and ensure a call for the interview. In this resume writing exercise, one should not neglect the last section dealing with references. A reference is someone who your future employer will contact to verify your credentials.

A positive recommendation by your references together with your performance in the interview will actually help you in getting hired for the job. It is a usual practice to provide a list of at the most two references (one can be personal and the other professional). You can also mention that references will be available on request without providing their names in the resume’ itself. However, you should have them ready with you. A separate sheet containing names and contact information of the references can also be submitted.

An HR Executive explains, “We only do a background check when the candidate has cleared the technical rounds of interview. The candidate can provide us names of the references when asked for at a later stage without mentioning them upfront in the resume’. In case of freshers, references can be former teachers, the employer where they have completed their internship from or any organization where they were involved in some sort of voluntary work. Reference letter generally covers strengths, weaknesses, team spirit, leadership qualities and work attitude of the candidate.”

You need to be careful while choosing your job references. A software engineer explains, “Get permission from your references before using their names in the resume. It is important that you do not use the names of those who may talk negative things about you. You should preferably send them a copy of your updated profile so that they are prepared to talk about you. The best references are those who have known you for at least a year so that they can speak about you comfortably. Do provide their company names, current position and contact information (email and mobile numbers). Whenever you are applying for a job it is good to keep your references updated about it.”

A good reference will certainly increase your chances of getting hired for a particular job. Hence, it is important to include some reliable names who will reflect a positive image about you when contacted by your prospective employers.


- Ranjita Chattopadhyay (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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