How to include references when applying for a job

If you are looking for a job, it may be helpful to prepare references. It means writing down the names of all the people who can tell what you’ve done and what your skills are. Read how to prepare a good list of references.

References are written about your work and your skills. They are written by people you know and you have worked with to give your CV more value when applying for a job.

Here are a few tips on how best to include reference letters or a list of references when applying for a job.

What are the references and a reference list?

References are a recommendation of someone who knows your qualities and skills. References can usually be presented with a letter or email.

A reference list, instead, includes the contact details of the people you worked for in the past. The person intending to hire you can directly contact the people you wrote on the list to enquire about the work you have done with them.

Who can write you references?

Here are some people who can be your references:

  • your previous employers;
  • the people you have worked with previously;
  • people you met while working, such as clients or other members of families you worked for.

Choose employers or colleagues who can speak well of you, your qualities, and the work you have done. Instead, try to avoid including references from your family members. They will speak well of you, but a new employer will think they are biased judgments in your favor.

Ask for permission

Ask your previous employers for permission to include them on the reference list you will prepare. You can also ask non-Italian people with whom you have worked to be put on your reference list, but ask if they would be available to speak with the future employer in Italian, or in another language that the employer can understand. If there is no common language, you can ask your previous employer to write a reference letter. You can then translate it into Italian.

Google Translate

The content of a reference letter

In a reference letter, your previous employer briefly explains how well you did and what your behavior was like. He/she should give an opinion about your skills and other qualities, also including practical examples.

Creating a reference list

The reference list should be presented nicely on a separate page or as an attachment. Look at the example below and use it as a template to create your reference list.

When to use a reference list?

Some job postings require a reference list as part of the application. Others ask for references after the job interview. If you submit a spontaneous application, you can attach a list of references to your cover letter and CV, to show that there are people who recommend you.

Download the reference list template to fill out.

Attached documents

  • Modello di lista di referenze

    Scaricare il modello e compilalo con le tue referenze

    Open the document

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