The Resume References

References on Resume are snippets, or sound bites, of letters of recommendation; performance evaluations; letters of appreciation from customers or vendors; or verbal comments from clients, coworkers, or supervisors. If you want to use verbal comments, get your source to put them in writing for maximum credibility.

Use references to emphasize Skills

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Resume References are a new spin on an old process: letters of reference, or recommendation. Letters of reference have long been part of the hiring system; in most if not all cases, you will be asked to provide them. This request usually comes after you have submitted your resume (typically during or after the interview) and signals that an employer is interested in you as a viable candidate.

A letter of reference gives hiring managers another person’s opinion of you so that they don’t have to rely solely on the claims you make in the resume or interview. These third-party recommendations add weight and credibility to your candidacy.

If you need modify quotes, use brackets

Occasionally, it will be necessary to edit a direct quote to make it more clear. To clarify, you should use brackets on resume. The brackets signify that original text was changed. Be fastidious in the accuracy of your excerpts and use brackets around words not found in the original letter. Most likely it is employers will ask to see those letters, so you’ll want them to be an exact match for maximum credibility.

Resume references examples

This technique works especially well for people who want to transition from one field or profession to another. For instance, Susan, a stay-at-home mother who is reentering the workforce and targeting a position in sales, could use these references on resume to emphasize her selling skills.

“Susan solicited more than $10,000 in donations from business owners, making our fund-raising event the most successful in the school’s history.” (Sean Lemming, Chief Administrator, Loma Linda High School)

“She is an articulate and persuasive public speaker, delivering arguments at City Council Meetings that persuaded us to vote in favor of her position on a controversial issue.” (Jacob Schmidt, City Councilperson)

“A born leader, Michelle joined our 200-member service club five years ago and has chaired four key committees in that time. Most recently, she was unanimously elected to the office of President-Elect.” (June Wong, President, Junior League of Loma Linda)

Resume references for a specific cases

You might want to use resume references without placing them in a separate category. We let’s make an example of a candidate who had some of the most glowing, sincerely written recommendation letters I have ever read.

John’s case Resume References example

They were full of admiration and verbal applause for his abilities, accomplishments, and outstanding attitude. He could easily have been hired based solely on these letters of recommendation. In John’s case, we included each reference as a bulleted item under each of his employers.

Advertising Sales Manager—Computer Trends, Houston, TX, 1997–Present

♦ Recruited to boost flat advertising sales for computer publication serving the Houston area. Delivered a 64% increase in sales without additions to the sales force. Personally doubled ad sales in peripherals category.

“John’s performance has been extraordinary . . . leads by example .. . energetic support for individuals he supervises … consistently made contributions outside the purview of his department . . . very visible ambassador of goodwill.” (Editor/General Manager)

Account Executive—Info Business Systems, Houston, TX, 1995-1997

♦ Ranked #1 in sales of records management systems, despite no prior industry knowledge. Promoted to key account sales (multisite government and education customers, traditionally managed by owner/general manager).

♦ “John brought high energy, infectious enthusiasm and professional integrity . . . had a keen understanding of the organization’s goals . . . was dependable and reliable to the nth degree.” (V.P., Sales)

Sales Manager/Sales Associate—The Finance Group, Dallas, TX, 1989-1995

♦ Within 3 months of hire, ranked in top 5% of producers among 2,000 sales associates. Promoted to manage 40-member sales team—reversed stagnant sales performance from #59 to #7 among 75 offices.

“Clear analytical skills . . . scrupulously honest . . . manifests drive and enthusiasm that is contagious.” (C.E.O.)

Richmond’s case Resume References example

These are the words of a sales manager who picked Richmond’s resume out of a stack of 10 resumes. The use of references on resume is a tremendously effective tool to beef up your candidacy, especially when you are lacking certain qualifications or competing against more experienced candidates.

Eight of the 10 candidates had specific industry experience. However, Richmond was the only candidate with no industry experience to be selected for an interview. He snatched an interview for a pharmaceutical sales position with these references, despite his lack of industry experience.

Look at these references on his resume:

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative: “I have complete faith in Richmond’s ability as a sales professional… he’s highly organized, a good communicator, and able to work independently without supervision. Tim would be ideal for pharmaceutical sales.”
Alex Panach, District Sales Manager, Pfizer

Medical Office Manager: “I frequently deal with sales representatives in my position and am confident that Tim measures up to the best reps I know. His confidence, assertiveness, and attention to detail are impressive. He’d be an asset to any company in pharmaceutical or medical sales.”
Jon Deming, Medical Office Manager for Dr. Arvin Maxwell

Resume endorsers

When you’re staying in a similar industry, consider a trio consisting of your supervisor, a customer, and a vendor or colleague. Substitute a former supervisor for your current supervisor when your search is confidential.

Select your endorsers carefully. Depending on space availability and the length of the testimonials, you can use between two and five. If you’re trying to break into a new field or profession, think of people who are well-respected industry leaders, preferably in a management capacity. Potential customers are another good source for references.

Andrew’s case Resume endorsers example

Besides the references on resume, must be taken into account the importance of endorsements. Andrew used a good mix of individuals who attested to his expertise in his job target: business management and operations.

In this case, the type of endorser (consultant, client, vendor) was listed rather than the actual name. If you choose to omit the endorsers’ names, be sure to have available the letters from which the quotes were taken.

Excellent record with supervisors, clients, and staff. Excerpts from testimonials include:
Consultant: “Andrew has the gift for running a business and making money . .. a great troubleshooter … absolutely ethical, honest, trustworthy, energetic, and loyal.”
Client: “Give [the project] to Andrew—you won’t have to think about it anymore.”
Vendor: “The most accurate, organized, efficient person I’ve ever met … hands down.

Finishing your Resume

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the bulk of the composition process. Now it’s time to add the real buying motivators for hiring managers and those elements that will set you apart from your competition.