If including referees in your resume, the referee detail should include the person’s name, job title (and relationship to you if it isn’t obvious – eg: if the referee is a client), company name, contact telephone number(s) with area code, and email address.

I strongly recommend that you request the person’s permission in listing them as a referee; likewise, if you’ve been on the job hunt for some time and you originally listed a referee six months ago, double-check they are still available and willing to act as your referee.

Personal referees are a no-no; your referees should be entirely professional.  There are some excpetions to this which is expanded upon in The Aussie Résumé Writer Software. Prospective employers are phoning your referee to ascertain your work abilities (and your professional behaviour and characteristics).  A personal referee can in no way vouch for your work abilities, therefore, you will not be doing yourself any justice in providing such.  Only under certain circumstances are personal referees acceptable. For instance, if you are a recent school leaver who holds no work experience; or perhaps you are applying for a position within a Catholic school, thus listing your local parish priest would be acceptable.

Employers shouldn’t be contacting your referees without prior permission – usually obtained at interview.  However, you must also be aware that this isn’t a perfect world!  Therefore, you may decide to state “provided upon request”.  Every situation has its negatives and positives and you will need to ascertain what will work best for you.

Listed below are some employer comments received from the Aussie Résumés Employer Survey.

“Not have referees listed – makes you ask why – and you don’t have time to waste.  IF you have to make a choice between someone who has given the list and another who has not – you are making the interviewer work – when you should be showing how you can work for them.”


“Referee names and contact details should be provided.  Failure to do so indicates something to hide.”

To find out what to include and how to structure your résumé, check out our easy-to-use Resume Writer Software.