Denver Staffing Agency – Resume Reference Tips for Recent College Graduates – Part 3

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 1/25/12 |
  • 3:45 PM
Denver Staffing Agency – Resume Reference Tips for Recent College Graduates – Part 3

Your resume should make a compelling statement about your qualifications to Denver Staffing Agencies, Denver Recruiters and Human Resource Managers, and so should your references.

We have already learned in Part 1 – Resume Reference Tips for Recent College Grads that you must be thoughtful and strategic in managing your references when seeking an entry level Denver job.  In Part 2, we reviewed the various reference resources available and the importance of choosing only those individuals for references that will best support your candidacy, and be able to speak to many of your transferrable key skills.

How to Present Your References – What is Best for Your Candidacy?
The next step in the reference discussion is how to present your references. Once again there are options, and depending on the work experience on your current resume, there are a few different ways of including your references with your resume or application.  These decisions need to be strategic, and as a recent college graduate, you should pick the approach that works best for you.  We know that Denver employers want to learn about you from your references, but if there is real interest in your candidacy, they also want to contact them.  Here are several ways to think about presenting references:

Option 1
References Available Upon Request
In today’s job market it's standard not to include references on your resume.   A very simple line at the end of your professional business resume, “References Available Upon Request”, is the most accepted option. Using this approach, you do not leave a separate reference sheet behind during the interview or send one along with your resume (if you are asked to submit a resume online), unless of course specifically directed to do so.

In using this approach you have some control, and the benefit of knowing that there is interest in your resume.  Furthermore, if you have targeted a specific job, you then release the references that would be the most credible to the job and or industry, giving you control and flexibility.

Extra Tip 1: Always be prepared and have your Separate Reference Sheet, as discussed below, ready to go and available in electronic form and hard copy.  Should you choose Option 1, you will need to have this at your fingertips.  If you get the call asking for your references, you should be organized and be able to provide the information without any delay.  Remember the dialogue between you and the Denver Recruiter or Denver Human Resource Manager requesting your references is a continuation of the interview.  If you are organized, the employer will take note of your performance.

Option 2
References Directly on Your Resume
As a recent college graduate it may be hard to fill up a one page resume with little real world or internship experience, therefore, you might consider including 2 or 3 references directly on your resume. A couple of well-chosen references can boost a shorter resume for a recent college grad. If you decide to provide your references directly on your resume, include them at the bottom.

Extra Tip 2:  Please make sure that you have both an email version and a paper version of a separate reference sheet available.

Option 3
Separate Reference Sheet
Recent college grads, if you choose this option, make sure that you include your name and contact information on the reference sheet should your reference sheet get separated from your resume.  Also, for someone with little or no work experience, you may want to point out that a specific reference will be able to speak to different facets of your work abilities and personality.  For example, an advisor in the same field can attest to the skills you’ll bring to the job, while a supervisor will know your performance as an employee, if you were on time, how motivated you are, worked well on a team or had great people skills. On your Separate Reference Sheet, for each reference you should provide: Name, Title, Business, Agency, School or Organization, complete address, phone number (see Extra Tip 3) and e-mail address. Some of the advantages of using a separate reference sheet are:

  • More room for references to be listed (3-5 max)
  • More room to present your resume content (education, certifications, professional experience, etc.)
  • Provides an option of creating separate sheets for sets of references that highlight your different skills

Extra Tip 3:  Your reference will have more authority and credibility coming from their professional, corporate world rather than listing their personal or home phone numbers.  In this way, your reference’s privacy will be protected.  However, cell phones are used frequently today, and to some are the preferred choice.  If your reference volunteers their personal cell number, list it as well, but indicate the numbers as direct work phone and cell phone.

Option 4
Presenting References for the Interview
The Denver employer typically waits to contact your references until late in hiring process, generally after the 1st interview or 2nd interview, although some may have a policy of conducting references prior to interviewing.  This however, is generally not the case. Once again, it is up to you to determine when to present your reference sheet when interviewing for that first entry level job.  Is it on the 1st interview, the 2nd interview, or do you wait for the employer to ask for your references?  Once again, you need to make the decision how and when to present your references. 

Extra Tip 4:  No matter how stellar your references may be, if your resume does not have a professional presentation, it may be overlooked by Denver Human Resource Managers or Denver Recruiters.

Note:  Letters of Recommendation will be discussed in a later article.

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