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What “References Available Upon Request” Means & When To Send

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Putting the correct information on your resume naturally involves challenges. Not only do you need to consider space, but you must find the perfect order to list everything. You may wonder if you should bother with a references section as you create your resume.

Luckily, you can maximize your space and create a visually appealing resume by including a references available upon request section.

Doing so will provide you with a solution, so learn what the area entails and when you should send those details to potential employers.

What Does References Available Upon Request Mean?

To keep it simple, references available upon request mean you have a list of references for the employer to consider. Instead of posting the references on your resume, the employer can contact you if they want to go through them.

Instead of placing the information on the resume, you show you consciously chose not to include the references.

Why Candidates Put “References Available Upon Request” on Resumes

Many candidates place the section on their resumes to make it look uniform, friendly, and well-designed. Now that you understand what it involves, you should check why people put the section on their resumes, so you’ll appreciate the benefits.

Know When an Employer Might Want to Contact References

If you have employers asking for references, you’ll know exactly when they want to contact your references. That means you don’t have to give your friends generalized statements that they might receive a phone call, so they should expect it to happen.

Instead, you can let them know an employer asked for references, so you provided the details. They can expect a call to happen soon so they don’t get caught off-guard. You can also rest easy knowing they won’t call someone without your knowledge, leading to problems.

To Keep It Organized

Some people struggle to organize their resumes and make them look nice, so you’ll make it easier with a references available upon request line. In addition, the line lets you take up less space on your resume, so it doesn’t look as cramped with them on the page.

You can also use it to split different sections, making your resume look nicer. For example, you can place the line between your education and skills sections, creating space between them and indicating a clear separation between areas.

To Show They Have References

Some employers may assume you don’t have any references if you don’t include a section on your resume. Instead of giving off that false impression, you can add the line about giving references upon request to show you intentionally didn’t list them.

If you make your intentions clear, employers won’t form negative impressions about your resume decision.

Should You Include References Available Upon Request?

When creating a resume, you should decide if you’ll include references available upon request. Doing so means going through the advantages while considering the disadvantages, so you’ll see if you should bother with it.

Why Include It

Having a section letting employers know you can include references upon request has advantages, so you should consider it.

  • Saving space on your resume
  • Respecting privacy and security
  • Showing you didn’t forget it

Having a references available upon request section saves more space than listing all your contacts in a single area. In addition, you can better utilize the space for the privacy and security of your references since the resume won’t get thrown out with their details.

You also indicated you didn’t forget to add a references section. If you don’t add anything, your potential employer may assume you don’t have references, or it slipped your mind, which can leave a negative impression on them.

Why Not Include It

Some people feel you shouldn’t include it on your resume, so ensure you understand why people think that way by going through the drawbacks.

  • Taking up space
  • Seeming like you can’t trust them
  • Many employers don’t read them

Ultimately, a references available upon request section takes up space on your resume you can use for other details. On top of that, a company may question if you trust them since you won’t share the references with them.

They also may not bother asking for references, making the line pointless. Ultimately, you must determine if including that line seems worth it, so think it over and determine if you should have it.

When to Include References on a Resume

If you want a general guideline, you should leave references off a resume. Doing so takes up unnecessary space, and most employers won’t look at it. Instead, you should have a separate page with your references.

Doing so means you can easily present the page when necessary or include the page at times, so you won’t waste time or detract from the resume. With those drawbacks in mind, you must determine if you should include the line on your resume.

How Many References Should You Have?

Since employers may ask for different types of references, you’ll want to collect as many as possible.

Ensure you reach out to people and ask them if you can add them as references, so they’ll say good things about you if they get a call from a potential employer.

For example, some employers may want to hear from your previous jobs and managers, while others may want to talk with others. If you collect more references, you can choose which ones apply the most to a position and send them to the potential employer.

Since you’ll naturally get more references as you age and gain more experience, you should keep them organized and provide them when needed.


As you understand what it means to include references upon request, you’ll appreciate their uses and how to present them. Ensure you consider your resume, determine if you want to include it, and build your references to make it easier to share them as necessary.

You can leave comments below with questions concerning references available upon request and similar topics. As you consider references on your resume, think about adding a section where employers request the references to save time and space.

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