How do you attach references to a professional resume? There are many times in your life when you might be asked to attach professional references to your resume-either at the beginning or during the application process. In either event, you need to know how to do it successfully, as it could mean the difference between getting the job and not.

Do Not Include in your Resume

One of the biggest mistakes that applicant’s make when trying to submit professional reference information is that they include professional references either in the body of their cover letter or that of their resume. Do not make this mistake, as it will make the potential employer question your professionalism and knowledge of resume submission. Professional references have no place in your resume, for two reasons: first, employers do not need this information so early in the application process, as they will not call all the references of every applicant in the first phase of weeding out applicants. It is too much work. Secondly, it is a disrespectful action to take against the very people supplying you with professional commendations in your references, and neither the reference nor the employer will probably see the inclusion as a positive step. This said, do not include your professional references in your resume or your cover letter.

How to Include References

So, if you do not include your professional references in your resume or cover letter, where do you include them, when a potential employer asks for them? The best place that is consistently well accepted by potential employers is through a separate document that is entitled Professional References. Create a separate document in word and/or a pdf, and include at least three professional references with applicable information. Then, when asked, you can simply attach the document like you would any other attachment-by choosing the attach icon on your email program, and selecting your professional references document.

When to Include References

In keeping with the proper attachment of professional references to a resume, it is not often that you will be asked on the initial submission of your resume to attach your professional references. Why is this? For the reasons supplied previously: employers do not have the time to call all applicant references, nor do they often have the gall to ask for the privacy of your references. This said, if they do ask you to submit a resume to them along with professional references; you have a couple of options.
Though few people understand this, all applicants have two very reasonable actions that they can choose to take when posed with the proposition of submitting professional references: both an employer will understand. First, you can choose to submit your professional references, and trust that they will not call these people until necessary. Second, you can ask to submit your professional references at a later step in the interview process. Most often, an employer will understand that you would like to protect your professional references in the early stages, and still consider you for a position.