Get this off your resume

Get This Off Your Resume Right Now!




Check your resume.

Does it include the following common statement in it – that no resume actually needs:

References Available Upon Request


If your resume has this old-fashioned, space-wasting statement on it, ask yourself why?


▶️ Are you including this line because your friend had it on their resume?

▶️ Did you see references mentioned on a generic resume template/sample?

▶️ Do you feel that sharing reference details on your resume is necessary for screening purposes?


The truth is your resume does not need this statement.

It is assumed that you have references that can be supplied when requested (or you should).

Employers won’t dock you marks or toss your resume aside for NOT having this line on your resume. In fact, they may consider your resume a bit out of date if it DOES have this statement.

Ultimately, “References available upon request” is a space waster that does not add any value to the resume. So, if you spotted this old-fashioned statement on your resume, remove it and use the space more strategically to showcase a real selling point. Share something of value, like an example of how you are awesome at what you do.


In fact, keep references off your resume altogether.


There is no need to share references in your resume at all.

A better strategy is to create a separate references sheet – using the same letterhead as your resume for a consistent and professional appearance – and refrain from sharing this sheet until the employer requests it.

Yes, wait for your reference details to be requested before offering them. Why? Consider this…

Let’s say you list your references on your resume and share the file with a prospective employer. The employer can now contact your references at any time, even before speaking with you first. Depending on what the references say – you may never hear from the employer directly. You may be disqualified from the job running based on reference feedback alone.

To maintain more control over the selection process, save your reference sheet for the interview, and yes, carefully select and prep people for this important task. Learn more about reference management in my post: “How to gather and update your employment references”.


Adrienne Tom

Looking to take your executive resume or job search to the next level to land your next job faster and increase your earning power? I can help! Visit me online at to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.


  1. Emmanuel Okogbe on May 10, 2020 at 8:09 am

    I just read your blog and was impressed as always with your career development teachings. My questions is, should we add references to resume? I have read different articles on referencing and one gets to be confused with some many advice. Which is the acceptable norm of referencing on resume? Thank you.

    • Adrienne Tom on May 11, 2020 at 11:40 am

      Great question Emmanuel. I recommend that you do not include references on your resume. The main reason is that employers can reach out to your references without you knowing which prevents you from being the first point of contact. It also prohibits you from giving your references a heads up and prepping them about the opportunity. It is best to keep your references on a separate sheet and only submit these contact details when requested (hopefully at the time of the interview). Save the space on your resume for more related content.

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