Example CV References

What's on this Page?

  • Example CV references
  • Ideas for who you should ask for references... and who you shouldn't
  • Other tips and suggestions for references

Many times an employer will ask for references on the application. If they don't, then it's a good idea to attach references to your resume. You should list 3 references at the very least and 6 at the most. I usually recommend about 4.

Who should you list as a reference?

First off, lets talk about who you should and should not give as a reference. Try to think like an employer. Who are the people you would tend to trust more to give a good reference? The more categories you can get the better. If you can get a pastor, a teacher, a former employer, and a doctor to be your reference you're doing excellently!

  • Pastor or priest
  • Doctors or other highly respected medical professionals
  • Teachers
  • Former employers
  • Respectable family friends who have known you for many years
  • Local people are often, but not always, considered more credible

The best people for references are usually religious. If you can get a pastor or priest to vouch for you that is usually very credible for an employer. People tend to trust the word of a priest more than any other.

Other people to look for as a reference are people who has the prefix Dr. before their name or an equivalent suffix, such as, Dr. Laura Smith or John Jones, DPT. This impresses employers because someone with letters before or after their name shows the employer that they are highly educated and possibly highly respected in the community. Both desirable in a reference.

If you've been in school recently, teachers are an excellent reference as well. Your teacher knows how responsible you are, whether or not you have attitude problems, whether or not you get along well with others, and how hardworking you are. A good teachers reference is very valuable on a reference page. The same goes for sports coaches.

For obvious reasons a former employer is an excellent reference. They can tell your new employer everything they want to know about what you're like as an employee. Hopefully they have good things to say!

If you're going to list a family friend, try to list someone older than yourself. As far as references go, the longer they've known you, the better. If they can vouch for your character for the last 16 years that's very good. If they've only known you for 7 months, not so great.

If you've recently moved then list most of your references from your old location, but try to include at least one local reference. If you can't find anyone credible that's ok. It's not strictly necessary. But it is good if you can add it.

Who should not be a reference for you?

Anyone who might make you look worse should not be a reference. Let's look at a few examples:

  • Former employers who fired you or who hold a grudge
  • Anyone who has served jail time
  • Anyone who is unemployed with no valid reason (Acceptable reasons being: homemaker, disability, or retired. Even if they're a great person, their unemployment will look bad for you.)
  • Usually, anyone younger than 20
  • Anyone who would give you a bad reference

A side note:

Always call your own references ahead of time to ask them if they would be willing to be a reference for you. It's just common courtesy. They're doing you a favor. The very least you can do is ask them ahead of time. If they say no, then it's better if they aren't doing your reference anyway.

What information should be included in the references?

The following information should be included in the references:

  • Reference's name and title
  • Reference's relationship to applicant (that's you!)
  • Number of years reference has known applicant
  • Contact information for the reference, including address, telephone number, and email if available.

Now finally... the example CV references page:

References should be listed simply, and without fanfare. You'll have to decide based on your relationship to the person and what you know of them whether to put their home contact information or their business contact information. If you put their business contact information you have the added bonus of your employer knowing exactly what their job is. On the other hand, having an employer call a doctor at home for your reference is a testament to your personal relationship with them, so you'll have to make that judgement call.

Now here's the example CV references page:

Note how simple this page is. This page doesn't have to be eye catching like the resume page. It just has to be simple and clear. Chances are, if you're future employer is looking at this page you've already impressed her. Example CV references.

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