How to Format Your List of Job References

Every hiring manager is different. Some see asking for references as a formality, while others will call every contact you include on your reference list. While your list of references is no more than a list of contacts for the hiring manager to evaluate, the way it’s formatted can impact the way you are perceived as a candidate.

Personal Branding

Your list of references should look like it goes along with your resume and cover letter. If you had any special formatting in your resume, such as a header or a splash of color, add it to your list of references. Also, use the same fonts throughout all of your job application materials. Going from Cambria to Arial is a bit of a drastic switch.

What to Include

At the top of the page, you should include your name, desired position, and contact information. This helps the hiring manager relate this list of references back to you.

For each reference contact, you should include their name, title, company, email, and phone number. Make sure when you ask your references that you have the most reliable form of communication. In addition, to the above basics, you can also include their relationship to you and how many years you worked together.

Example of reference formatting:

John Doe

Director of Marketing, XYZ Company

(123) 555.1234

John was my direct supervisor at XYZ Company for 3 years.


Your list should have at least three contacts for reference with a space between each contact.

Bonus Points

Complete your LinkedIn profile with references right next to each of your previous positions. You can reach out your LinkedIn network to add a recommendation to any of your recent positions. Simply, click the dropdown menu next to “View Profile As” and ask to be recommended.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *