What information should be given for references? I usually include name, phone number, e-mail address, how I know them/where I worked with them and if it was someone I worked with their position.

I happened to notice the phone number of one of my previous employers no longer works. Should I contact him through e-mail and ask for his current one?

  • Simple, "references available upon request" is all you need to give up-front. And then if you actually get a request, provide name and phone number or e-mail at the discretion of your reference.
    – aroth
    Mar 25, 2014 at 4:46
  • @aroth even though the job posting explicitly lists references as one of the things to send in?
    – bobby
    Mar 25, 2014 at 8:22
  • Yes. Unless they are doing something very unusual, they will not spend time contacting your references until you have at least had a phone interview (and more usually, an in-person interview). Contacting references is typically the last stage of the interview process.
    – aroth
    Mar 25, 2014 at 9:33

2 Answers 2


Ask each of your references how they would prefer to be contacted, and provide that information. Make sure that all of that contact information is current and valid (working phone numbers and email addresses, for example) each time you provide it.

Otherwise, you risk giving your prospective employer contact details for your references that they don't want used for that purpose (uncomfortable for them), or outdated information - which could prove embarrassing for you.


It depends how you are submitting this. Many of the contact forms I have filled out are online and were the usual name,phone,email and often their employer. But the key is to give a method of contact that the person will answer. If they live with their smart phone in their hand 24/7 then that number is the one to give. If they are are on Outlook all day and all night, then give their email. The people who you are listing should be expecting the company to contact them so when you call them to inform them they are references you should ask them what the best method of contact is.

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