It’s always nice when a colleague recommends you for a position and when seeking employment, having references that can attest to your work-related skills, integrity, reliability and the ability to work with others helps leverage your resume to the top. They may also attest to your leadership qualities and initiatives. Using references that are known through a social capacity that just have nice things to say about you should not be included in your list of references.

When thinking about your list of professional references, be sure to contact each one and ask permission in advance so they are not surprised when contacted and use positive references that can confirm you are a valuable employee.

Most potential employers do want a professional list of references or reference dossier but I should only be provided when asked. It is assumed you can provide your references on request and it is not necessary to add it to the lower portion of your resume so be sure to include their full name, organization, title, address, and contact information including email and phone and how they know you, your qualities demonstrated and time-frame.

Having a strong list of references available is essential and can help when job searching.