33+ Professional Reference List Template Free Download!!

The best way to prove the credibility of a person is to list down the references to whom the concerned decision maker can contact anytime for cross-validation. You need a reference list if you are looking to join a new institution or a workplace. Perhaps, this list is essential for business professionals too to ascertain the new customers that the services or products are trustworthy and people have already shown their satisfaction towards the same.

Having seen the importance of it, a confusion always lies in the correct format that the superiors will accept and call it professional. To save time and efforts at the eleventh hour, we have a list of handpicked reference list templates that you can follow in terms of structure, text, alignment, and professionalism.

Reference list templates for students

Assume that you are moving from one school to the other, you are certainly asked for a conduct certificate that talks about your conduct along with which you are also asked for references.

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It can be presented together with about 3 references or in the form of letters too, as seen in the templates above.

There are many advantages of using these when you apply to a new school or college.

  • The chances of getting admitted to your dream college are high.
  • The admission head/principal might like your character instantly when you have enough references or a list of references to support you.
  • The chances of getting new learning opportunities after joining the school are high as you already have sufficient recommendations that appreciate your performance.

The letters generally used as reference page plays a major role in influencing the admission counselor to accept your admission request. Also, make sure you have a proper diploma template in case it is required!

Reference list templates for employees – Reference sheet

Another instance where it is mandatory to present them at the workplace. More than your resume template, this one you attach to it plays a key role in informing the recruiter about your potential and significance for the development of the firm.

The format that you use to attach to your resume page has to be extremely professional. Here are a few templates to make you understand better.

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You can notice the different formats being used here.

Suppose you have worked in just one organization, it is okay to take a reference page from an authorized person of the firm and show to the new employer. Alternatively, you can also create a list comprising of managers in the previous firm. If you are applying a job for the first time, it becomes difficult for you to get references or a list of references. In such cases, you may seek support from a professor or anyone at a renowned or authorized position and add their contacts in the list provided.

Common mistakes to avoid

When preparing the list, employees commit certain mistakes:

  • Not informing the members listed under references about the addition – When you add them without taking permission, you are actually placing yourself in trouble too. Always take consent before adding a person.
  • Adding this at inappropriate places – In general, the list has to be appended at the end of the resume page to give it a personal touch. However, some people add it haphazardly thereby ruining the actual purpose of the application.
  • Fake references – This happens when you just note down the information from the templates and you fail to take action to build a list on your own. This is extremely dangerous as your character is at stake and you may be blacklisted for this malpractice.
  • Too many references – When a candidate has years of experience and wanted to add as many references as possible, the list might look clumsy and only disturbs the employer from interviewing you. The best practice is to keep the references below 6.
  • Unauthorized persons – Candidates applying for a job for the first time tend to collect references from kith and kin which is absolutely wrong. Though they may be at different work positions, this practice actually degrades your value. Always take it from a third party who can build your value and reputation.
  • Incomplete references – This is a common mistake where the person’s name and company name are mentioned and the contact details are missed out. This can convey a lack of clarity in you and might discourage the interviewer from considering your candidature further.
  • Sending references with the first batch of application materials – We understand that your references are ready. However, when you apply, you only have to keep the list ready and as you hear back from the recruiter, you can send the list.
  • Losing the original copy – It is a good idea to take multiple copies of the same reference so you don’t have to worry about missing it somewhere.

Avoiding these mistakes can improve the quality of your list and also display professionalism as well as helps in background check authorization.

For businesses/ personal use

Did you know that businesses need this reference list too? You may be confused between this list and testimonials. For your understanding, a testimonial details the experience of a person/firm with yours while a reference includes the contact information of the person/firm and the vendor/customer can speak to them and verify the association.

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The purpose of a credit reference is to attest or check the financial accountability of a business that will then be submitted to banks and investors. Before a firm tries to raise funds for its operations, it exhibits the financial relationship to the stakeholders with the help of credit references.

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The actual purpose of a business is to invite contacts that can vouch for genuineness and performance of the firm. Trade references are used by lenders to confirm the credibility of a firm and then offer the credits. It is mandatory for each organization to establish a list with the current suppliers in the list who can speak about your relationship as well as the ability to meet the terms of payment.

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The other aspect of reference list for business is listing vendors/customers for the new stakeholders to take feedbacks and then decide the association. Here are a few templates to assist this process.

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Some businesses give this list for public use while most of the businesses prefer to keep them in private. Therefore, new clients can reach the business for references. However, the situation is different if the business is a popular one where stakeholders prefer to add logos of major brands who are associated with the firm and new clients can take their decisions accordingly. These logos actually vouch for the brand and enhance the opportunities to expand further. It depends on the size of your business.


The purpose of a reference list is to ascertain the credibility of an individual or a firm. When it comes to an individual, character references are also issued. These are usually in the form of letters where the authorized person shares the experience with this individual. On the other hand, the scenario changes if the same list is needed for a business. Being a private property, the list is either circulated internally or informed to the public in the form of logos.

Instead of following a format on your own, it is appropriate to go for these templates that make your job easier and let you understand the essential details to create a complete list that can influence the receiver’s decision.

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