How to Write a Job Reference Page

job reference request sheet exampleIf you’re currently applying for jobs, it is important to be prepared so you have a job reference page available when a potential employer asks for one. 

In this blog I will explain current practice guidelines and help you to write a reference page.

Do I Include Reference Details on My CV?

No.  With data protection legislation in place, it is no longer common practice to include full reference details on your CV when you submit a job application. You should have a separate document prepared listing their details, we call this a reference page because it should be a sheet of A4 paper outlining your key referee details.

It is very important to keep referee details confidential and not to hand them out to just anyone.  It is good manners to seek their agreement to the use of their details too before including them on your reference sheet.

Some candidates write ‘references are available on request’ on their CV, others prefer to omit this because it is generally a given that job references will be requested and supplied.

When Do I Provide My Reference Details?

Employers will usually request your reference details when they are at the stage of making a hiring decision.  Accordingly, you need to have a well presented reference sheet available so they can follow up with select people who can vouch for your skills, qualifications and personal and professional attributes.

I always advise clients to take copies of their CV with them to the interview and you can also take a copy of your reference page too.  You should keep it in a folder and hand it over if and when the interviewer asks for it.  If they ask for it there and then, this should be seen as a good sign that they are considering hiring you.  If they don’t request it at the interview, don’t be disheartened, they may request it formally by letter after all the interviews are concluded.

Who Should My Professional References Be From?

A professional job reference would usually be from a current or former employer, line manager, team leader, the HR department or a reliable co-worker who will endorse you.

Who Should My Personal References Be From?

A personal job reference should be from someone of authority in your personal life.  This could be a tutor or mentor, a group leader, a medical professional or religious figure.  You can also ask any respected person from you personal life but you cannot use a family member as a referee.

Who To Chose as a Job Reference?

Firstly, only ask people you are confident will put in a good word for you and support your application.  If you think they may jeopardise your application, don’t ask them.  You need two or three good, solid references who can support your application and convey you in a positive light.

Secondly, make sure you have current and correct contact details for them, including a telephone number and email address.  It is worth checking their current job title too and make sure you spell their name correctly too.

Thirdly, ensure you have their permission to use their details.  If you don’t ask them, they could refuse to supply a reference and that won’t look good.  Common courtesy goes a long way and it’s beneficial to brief them beforehand and provide a copy of your CV so they have an indication of your skills and the types of role you are applying for.

How to Format a Job Reference Page

Click to find out how to write and format a job reference page.

Free Job Reference Template

Download a free job reference template here.

Job Reference Writing Service

We offer a low cost job reference page writing service, it’s just £5!  One of our recruitment specialists will prepare and format your personal and/or professional reference page on your behalf. 

Employer Reference Request Letter  Writing Service

If you need to approach your current of former employer to act as a reference but don’t know how to compose and lay out the letter, we can write an employer reference request letter for you.

CV Writing Services UK | Linkedin Profile Writing Service | Linkedin Update and Optimisation ServicesOur letters are £15 and are available to purchase in the online shop.