The 7 Best Sites to Help You Organize Your Job References (With Templates)

Most sites that advise preparing a CV recommend not including references in your CV. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your references organized and ready when a potential employer asks for them.

There are lots of tips on managing your referrals and various opinions on how and what to include. The details that all sites agree your referral page should have included the following:

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  • Header with your name and contact details
  • Reference name
  • Reference’s current position
  • Company
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address

Here is a summary of some resume sites and their recommendations for organizing your references. Some of the sites mentioned have templates that you can download and customize.

Bizz Library provides Google Docs and Microsoft Word templates you can download to organize your references. Bizz Library suggests that you choose references that focus on two or three of your strongest qualities and provide detailed examples to support them.

You want references that offer examples of your work ethic, character, and personality. The site also suggests that your document provide details about the reference’s relationship to you, such as how long you’ve known each other and in what capacity.

Bizz Library recommends that you may wish to tailor your references to the job you are applying for and the responsibilities of the job. Providing references is not just about who you are as a person; this also includes proof that you have the skills and knowledge to perform the expected job.

Easy Resume advises job seekers to provide more than the name and company of your references. It is essential to include the email addresses and telephone numbers of your references to potential employers when they ask for references. You don’t want to waste their time searching for contact information for your references.

Easy Resume suggests keeping the format consistent with your resume when it comes to your reference page layout, which means organizing your references in the same format you used for the job section of your resume. In addition to including contact information for your references, you can also include the following:


  • Your relationship with the reference.
  • How long have you worked with them? Provide examples of experiences you and the reference have collaborated on, so they can provide more details to your potential employer.

When providing examples of your work with references, be specific and not general. For example, instead of saying you worked with the reference for several years, you should say you worked together for 3-4 years.

Job Hero is another job site that recommends keeping your reference page formatting consistent with your resume. If you’re new to the job market, the site suggests you provide three references. Managerial positions require more contacts, with between five and seven references.

For those applying for different positions, Job Hero suggests choosing contacts and colleagues who know enough to talk about the specifics of the job you’re applying for. Suppose you have a reference that is hard to reach but you want it to be a reference; you can ask the hiring manager if your contact can write a character reference email.

My Perfect Resume suggests that you should consider four things when preparing your reference document:

  1. Think about the top three references for the job you applied for.
  2. Think about what makes it your best reference.
  3. Keep the layout consistent with the CV.
  4. Make sure reference contact information is up to date.

If you are a recent graduate, you can use a mentor or professor with whom you have established a relationship as a reference. If you have done career-related projects at school, you can choose these teachers as references.

Your mentor can talk about your growth and your plans for the future. If you have volunteer experience, you can ask a contact from the organization to be a reference.

Nova Resume has a different twist on how you should approach your reference list. They suggest starting your list with your biggest fan. You want your potential employer to talk to people who think highly of you and your work. When providing details about the nature of the relationship with your references, be careful not to overshare.

Personal references should have a subsection, so your potential employer understands that the connection is not work-related. Similar to Job Hero, Novo Resume recommends three to five references for entry-level jobs and five to seven for higher-level positions.

If you are currently employed and have a good idea of ​​the job you are providing references for, you may want to start working on your two week notice letter.

Like Novo Resume, Resume Genius recommends that you list your most influential or impressive references first to improve your chances of getting noticed. Similar to other covered sites, Resume Genius suggests that you keep your reference page formatting consistent with your cover letter and resume.

The site also recommends three to four references for most jobs and five to seven contacts for senior positions requiring thorough verification.

Zety recommends being strategic in choosing your references. Like many of the other sites on this list, Zety suggests keeping the format of your referral page consistent with the other documents you’ve provided to the potential employer.

Before sending your list of references to the potential employer, you should inform your references so that they are not caught off guard by a call or email from a hiring manager. When selecting your contacts, choose people who can speak positively about your work ethic, experience and skills.

Make your referrals work for you

All of the sites listed above have examples or templates that you can refer to or download. You can download the Microsoft Office template for references for more options. The information you provide on your referral page is the same no matter what site you visit. You can choose how to organize your connections, decide if you want to share your biggest fans or the contacts most related to the job you’re applying for.


If you don’t have a lot of work experience yet, don’t worry about finding references! You can ask professors and mentors to be your references, and don’t forget to confirm contact details to ensure that the details you provide to potential employers are up to date.