When seeking employment, use references that can attest to your work-related skills, integrity, reliability and the ability to work with others. These professional references may also attest to your leadership qualities and initiatives. Using “personal” 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 professional references.

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

Generally speaking, potential employers do want a professional list of references or reference dossier but it 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.

When creating your reference dossier, include the following:

Names and salutation for instance, if someone has a PhD, they would be referred to as Dr. XXX

Include their full name, organization, title, address, and contact information including email and phone

Below their information, you should include their reference which should consist of 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.