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How Do I List References If They No Longer Work There?

Having a list of references is important when looking for a job. However, you should not list the references on your resume. Instead, include a heading for references at the end of your resume, and note that they are available upon request. Providing the information upon request gives you time to alert the reference that a potential employer may be calling for a reference. Where the reference is currently working -- if employed at all -- isn't relevant. What's more important is the reference's current or former title and how well the reference knows you professionally.

Contact people who know you well to ask permission to use them as references. Ideally for a professional reference you should contact people such as former supervisors or peers you have worked with.

Tell the reference what you have been up to lately, if necessary, and follow up with a current copy of your resume by email or regular mail. Also include a brief discussion of possible talking points the reference may wish to refer to when speaking with a company interested in hiring you or writing a letter of recommendation. These should recap some of your successes and strong suits that the reference may be familiar with.

List the references on a single sheet of paper with your name and address at the top. List references under a heading called references. List the reference's name, current title, employer, office address, office telephone number and work email. At the end of each reference write one sentence explaining how the reference knows you, such as "Mr. Jones was the inspector general and my supervisor when I worked for the city of Detroit." If the reference is retired or unemployed, list the title they held when you worked with them professionally, or a title the the reference is using during retirement.


Robert Lee has been an entrepreneur and writer with a background in starting small businesses since 1974. He has written for various websites and for several daily and community newspapers on a wide variety of topics, including business, the Internet economy and more. He studied English in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Governor's State University.