What to Do When Employers Request References in Advance

In the past, employers typically waited to ask job applicants for references until they were serious contenders for a job. Now, more companies are asking applicants to provide a list of references when they apply for a job.

How to Provide References With a Job Application

For example, the job posting may read:

Required Applicant Documents

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • List of Three References

or “To be considered for this position, please fill out an online profile and attach the following documents: cover letter, resume and list of three references.”

When providing the company with references, don’t list your references on your resume. Include a separate page with a list of three references (or whatever number the company asks for) and their contact information.

Who to Use as a Reference

Your list of references should include professional connections who can attest to your qualifications for the job. Your references don’t have to be people who work at your current job, in fact you shouldn’t use them if the company isn’t aware you are job searching.

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