Should References Be Listed On Job Resumes?
As a former national sales manager in the pharmaceutical industry, I?ve seen my share of resumes from interested applicants for pharmaceutical sales jobs over the years. Of course, I?ve also used resumes of different types for my own career.
Sometimes, I see resumes where job seekers have already included specific names of individuals as their references, usually near the end of the documents. On many other resumes, a brief statement such as ?References to be supplied upon request? is used rather than listing actual references names. Which way is better?
Well, at first glance, many people would think that those who have already listed specific references have made their resumes more complete and saves time for the reviewers. However, from my twenty years of corporate experience, I would consider the ?References to be supplied upon request? method to be much more flexible.
Different job applications, especially for different types of positions, may result in different ideal references. You may want to tailor your references to each specific company and position you apply for. This way, you can better match specific reference names to the positions.
Also, a particular reference may not have turned out to be the best one for you for one job application so at least you will have the flexibility to change references if you have others who could do a better job for you for other future job applications. Leaving references to be supplied as requested just gives you that flexibility of choosing to use the best ones at the time they are requested. You can then tailor your references to each job application that comes up.
Ideal references include previous supervisors and colleagues from past employment assuming that you got along well with them. Other possible references include people you worked with in other activities besides official employment (an example is a fund raising event).
If you did some industry networking, important contacts you met may also serve as references if you have built up a good rapport with them, especially if they happen to work for the same company that you are applying to. Finally, past customers or clients from previous jobs make excellent references as well.