Include References on a Resume?

by Betsy Thayer

Listing references at the bottom of your resume may seem like a good idea.  It could show that you are helpful with information, anticipating the needs of the employer.  This however is a fallacy.  An employer would never contact a reference before meeting you.  Besides being a waste of time, law prohibits a potential employer from contacting references without written consent (Hint: This is the majority of the reason for filling out an application in addition to submitting a resume.  It is in your best interest to fill out the form in its ENTIRETY; it is a good reflection on you).

It is best to list people that you have worked with or know professionally, avoid listing family or friends if possible.  Make sure to ask and inform possible references, and making a copy of your resume available to them if necessary.  It is perfectly acceptable to write References available upon request at the bottom of your resume.

It is imperative, however to bring a listing of references with you to the interview.  You can provide the interviewer with a clean and professional, typed list.  It looks even better if it is the same style as your resume.  Provide all necessary contact information including e-mail, which is becoming the preferred method of contact.