The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “W” is for WRITE

W: The Best Way to WRITE Your References.

At some point in the interviewing process, you may be asked for a copy of your references. You probably know that you never include references on your resume. You also should know that you want to include references that can speak to your professional ability and thus personal references should not be included. You should prepare your references on a separate sheet and have it handy, should you be asked for it during the interview process. But what format should you use? Should you simply list the name and phone number of each reference? Not exactly. Here is the best way to write your references.

Include the who, the what, and the why.

In addition to the name and phone number of each reference, include each reference’s email address, title, and company name. Including a postal address is no longer necessary, because if contacted, employers will typically use a phone number or email address. Employers will want to know each person’s title, and the name of the company or organization with which they work. Now here is the piece that most people leave out: include information as to how you are professionally related to each reference and what you accomplished while working with each person. This information will serve to qualify each reference and provide details that can guide the discussion should the reference be contacted by the employer. All of this information can be placed in a table similar to that shown below:




Name, TitleCompany

Phone Number

Email Address

Provide details as to the relationship between you and this reference.


Be sure to include three to five references. These can be colleagues, former managers, peers, clients, and vendors. If you are involved in community or professional associations, you can also include individuals from these groups that can speak to your professionalism and work ethic.

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