Resume Tip Tuesday: Add a Testimonial Instead of “References Upon Request”

Posted June 25, 2013

Welcome to Resume Tip Tuesday! Come to CareerBliss every Tuesday for a brand new resume tip to help you in your job search!

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Getting a solid recommendation is like striking gold for job seekers. Employers are more likely to hire you if someone credible can vouch for you (it’s why networking is so important). As a job seeker, you should highlight any recommendations you can get.

However, do yourself a favor and ditch the “references upon request” line at the end of your resume. Employers already know this, and it’s a waste of precious space. Instead, Nathan Kontny, founder of Inkling and Cityposh and former software engineer for President Obama’s reelection campaign, offers a fantastic suggestion in a recent blog post on SVBTLE (it’s a great read on the importance of telling a story in your cover letter-- I highly recommend it).

Instead of the “references upon request” on your resume, Kontny recommends you pull a quote from a previous employer, colleague or manager that testifies how awesome you are at your job, and add it into your cover letter instead.

“Keep a file of those so you can grab a couple and sprinkle them in places like your cover letter,” he says in the blog post. Asking folks who really know your work for LinkedIn recommendations is a great way to do this.

If you include the quotes tactfully, you can truly differentiate your cover letter from the rest of the pile.

Tune in next Tuesday for another awesome resume (and cover letter) tip! 

Have a resume question? Send them to and we'll answer it in another edition of Resume Tip Tuesday!

Check out Resume Tip Tuesday Archive!

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The CareerBliss Team

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