Yesterday I was asked a question regarding “References Upon Request” to be used as a resume closure. This question is asked regularly and merits review here. According to the Career Management Alliance, in a recent article written by Patricia Traina, CPRW, the following was presented:
“References: Many candidates still include the line, “References available upon request.” Nowadays, almost every corporation is going to request references anyway, so no need to make it sound like you’re giving permission for the employer to obtain what they’re going to need anyway.”
The practice of not closing resume’s with “References available upon request” is consistent with the two other major career management associations. Those being the “Professional Resume Writers Association” and the “National Resume Writers Association.”
On a professional note, being as objective as possible, I synthesize the advice of the top three associations when I am in doubt. Understand this advice offered through these associations is targeted toward mid to high-level executives so the playing field can change due to the level of the candidate. As a result, for recently graduating students or for individuals who have been in the workforce for two years or less, I often place references upon request as a closure. Other types of closures (depending upon the candidate) could be Fluent in Spanish; Available for Relocation, etc. As for a symbol, the closure can be 3-5 centered bullets at the bottom of the sheet—there is much leeway in this capacity.
Another reason the associations agree on not having References Upon Request is that the statement carries no merit to the point. In other words, it is presumed references could be provided and, as you know, most organizations expect a separate reference sheet.
Just like any document, there are guidelines and the above suggestions are not cemented rules. In this ever-changing industry, creating the most effective career document can be a nightmare! Therefore it is important to keep up with the latest trends, and I encourage you, your peers, and all the individuals you can think of to become active in this blog.
Send questions, comments, and suggestions as topics chosen are meant to be of immediate value to YOU. Think about it, you have free access to a professional writer and career coach at your fingertips.
Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP