References are individuals who can speak to your qualifications in support of your application for a job. References ideally should be individuals in supervisory positions or leadership roles who can comment on your performance in work, academic, campus involvement, or community service settings. This could include a supervisor at a part-time job, an instructor in a current class, or a volunteer manager at a community service project. The guidelines found on this page will help you develop a references page, but please be sure to also view our Sample References Page


  • The phrase "References Available Upon Request" is not needed on your resume.

  • Reference information should be placed on a page separate from your resume.

  • References are usually requested either in the application or after an interview. Do not include a reference page when submitting your resume.

  • The references page should contain the same header (your name/contact information) as your resume, with the word REFERENCES underneath. No page number is necessary. 

  • Three to five is an appropriate number of references to list on your references page.

  • Always ask permission to list someone as a reference, and give the reference a copy of your resume. This will be helpful to them if contacted by a prospective employer.

  • List each reference's name, current job title, place of current employment (including city and state - mailing address not necessary), email, and phone number. It's helpful to add your relationship with that person as noted on the Sample References Page

  • Choose references strategically, considering what the person knows about you. Avoid personal references (e.g., a friend, minister of your church, etc.) as much as possible.


Letters of Reference or Recommendation

Most companies/organizations are only interested in a references page, not letters of reference or recommendation. However, often graduate or professional program applications require letters of reference or recommendation. Visit this page for recommendations on getting letters of recommendation for graduate school.