Professional references are an important way to let hiring managers know you are qualified for the position you are applying for. An accounting resume can particularly benefit from adding references, as accounting positions require trust and great attention to detail, qualities that are difficult to assess during the interview process.
When Should You Include Professional References in an Accounting Resume?
References are not generally included with an accounting resume, but there are always exceptions to this rule. If the job posting specifically asks for references, they should be included. If the posting mentions that references will be checked or are required, include them with your resume. Finally, if you have a particularly strong reference, such as someone within the company where you are applying, or a reference from an IRS supervisor if you are applying to work as a tax accountant in a private firm, include your reference page with your resume.
How to Include References in an Accounting Resume
If you determine that you should not include references with your resume, avoid adding the line “References Available Upon Request” to the bottom of your resume. If you do decide to include your references, there is a specific way to do this. Give your references their own page on your resume, titled “Reference Sheet.” Make it easy for the hiring manager to contact your references by including up-to-date contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don’t forget to include your references’ job titles and company name in the reference section.
Example of Professional References in an Accounting Resume
Jean Smith, CPA, JD, Tax Attorney, Smith and Jones Accounting, Clearwater, FL, (727)555-1212 (office), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for Providing References to a Hiring Manager
Always ask prospective references permission before using them as a reference. They are not required to act as a reference, so show your appreciation by offering to provide an up-to-date copy of your resume for them to refer to and follow up with a hand-written thank you note.
Select references who have experience working with you and can speak confidently about your skills. If you choose someone who doesn’t know you well, they may not speak as confidently with the hiring manager, which can give the impression of a lukewarm endorsement.
Articulate, well-spoken individuals will provide the strongest reference, regardless of their job title. You want someone who is willing to expand on the hiring manager’s questions and explain why you worked well in your position, rather than someone who will answer questions with short, yes or no type of answers.
Direct supervisors, individuals who are higher up in the company, and individuals such as outside consultants with whom you worked alongside all make good choices for references. Having a variety of references makes you a more attractive applicant.
A well-written resume is the key to getting an interview. Whether you are looking for your first accounting position out of college or are ready to move into a management or partner role, MyPerfectResume’s Resume Builder can create the strong, polished resume you need.