When Do I Send My References?

Dear Cassie,

What’s the best way to handle references? Should I put “References Upon [sic] Request” on my resume and wait for a request, or should I just include them with my application? I have some great references that I think will help land me an interview, but I don’t want to appear too forward. And, are LinkedIn recommendations good enough for references?

Thank you!!!



Dear Barb,

Thank you for your question. This is one I receive quite often actually and it’s a good one. I recommend including “References Available Upon Request” at the end of your resume. If the references you’re mentioning are in standard letter form (on letterhead!), include them in your application. No harm in that as well as I would include it in my candidate documentation.

However, I wouldn’t recommend including a list of names and contact information that a recruiter can call at will until it is requested (per your resume). When directing a recruiting or hiring manager toward your references, it’s important to make sure your references are expecting a call. Your references should always have the professional courtesy of a “heads up.”

No, LinkedIn references are not good enough. Please bear in mind, a personal social media profile is not an official record or reference. When I am screening candidates, I consider information from LinkedIn, but not references from individuals that I don’t know. I need to be able to trust the information source. There may be recruiters that consider them; however I am picky about what is official a.k.a. what I’ll trust and what is not.

Finally, and I hope this is a no-brainer, make sure your references are going to say positive things about you. Recruiters do a lot of digging about a candidate and you want us to find good stuff.

Thank you again, Barb!


About the author


Cassie Sturdevant

Cassie Sturdevant is a Senior Recruiter for Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT strategic and implementation services consulting firm just named 2013 Best in KLAS for Overall Services. She specializes in humor and follow up.


  • Dear Cassie,

    Sometimes I see several positions posted by the same company that interest me. Should I apply to each of them, or just to one and hope I get a chance to discuss the others? I don’t want to appear desperate but don’t want to miss out, either.



  • Hi Cory,
    Thanks for your question and watch for my full answer in my next post. My short answer is apply for them all.
    Thank you,

  • I disagree with putting RUR on your resume. It is a waste of real estate. We all know you will need to furnish them if requested to do so. There is no added value in putting that on the resume. Concur, however, with *not* furnishing before they are requested. No sense revealing or exposing these people or that information before it is actually necessary.

  • Hi Kay,

    You have a valid point; however I still believe adding “References Available by Request” is a common and professional courtesy on a resume. Whether or not one includes it, I think you would also agree to never abbreviate it, “RUR.”

    Thank you for reading and for commenting! Hope your week is great!


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