Key Factors to Give the Best Shape to Your Resume & Cover
Letter, Part 5
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References Section – Should You or Should You not Include
This Part in the Resume.
The topic of including a reference section in a resume always divides people and then arguments ensue. The best way to deal with this issue is usually to just base the decision on personal preference and/or job description/company requirements.
What is a reference section anyway? It is a list of personal and professional references or names and contact details of people who can vouch for you, your qualifications and/or your character. In traditional resume writing practices, this list was very important. Most employers from years ago rally liked seeing this section in the resumes they were reviewing. These days though, most hiring managers are more focused on finding the perfect fit through accomplishments and skills.
When Do You Include a Reference Section
If you are lucky enough, there would be no need to worry about this matter if the job posting you are interested in includes a request for references. Then you have no choice but to make the list.
Sample of Job Posting Instructions
Applicants are requested to submit the following:
A list of professional references with contact details
In some cases, a number of references are included (like three professional references). If there is no specific number required, it is best to include three. It is also recommended that if the request is for online submission, the list should be on a separate page from your resume.
The list should include the full names of your contacts, companies they work for, job titles, address, telephone numbers and email addresses.
When Do You Not Include a Reference Section
If there is no specific instruction on including or submitting references, then it is best to not include the list on your resume. There is a good reason why most employers are no longer keen on seeing references on the resumes they review: The practice has long since been deemed as passé. Therefore, if there is no request, do not send or include your references. If you do so, your resume and cover letter along with the list could easily end up inside the office trash bin.
Choosing Your References
In case that you are required to submit a list of professional references, you will have to choose wisely. It is important to select people that really know who you are professionally. Take not to only include those who are willing to be included. There is a possibility that the potential employer or hiring manager will give them a call or email them to make sure that they really know you and they all can vouch for your qualifications for the job you are applying for.
Colleagues, previous employers and business contacts are the best people to choose as your professional references. Do not make the mistake of including a family member that is highly unacceptable.
For fresh graduates, personal references are more favored than professional references. The reason for that is obvious; the lack of professional experience makes it impossible to have connections professionally. For a personal reference, former professors and internship managers are the best bet.
Be Ready with Your References
No advanced request for a ‘list of references’ does not mean that you should not have a ready list handy. Sometimes, potential employers and hiring managers determine the applicant’s purpose and reliability by asking for references during the interview. If you come empty-handed, you will appear to be someone unprepared for the battle. That would not look good for you.
Resume writing is an art – alright maybe a special skill – and there are people doing it for a living. You must have heard of resume writing websites where you can hire a resume writer to compose your CV and cover letter based on information you provide. If you are really finding it hard to write your own cover letter and resume, hiring professional resume writer is a good idea.