I am trying to apply for a job at a local hospital. I am not required to provide references as a part of my job application, but I am tempted to -- and here is why:

The hospital and the organization that it belongs to is a highly competitive unionized environment, and as such many people have been told me that it is hard to get a first job at the hospital as an external candidate (and I am applying as an external candidate). I know three people who are or used to be an employee at the hospital that I am applying to, and I am hoping that if I list them as my references on my resume, perhaps the hiring manager will see the connection between me and the hospital and will consider me for an interview along with other internal candidates who applied for the same job.

Would it be a good idea to list them as my reference on my resume or is it not so good idea to do so? I already got a permission to list them as my reference from all of my references

  • 2
    The effective way to use internal connections is to have them pass your resume onto the relevant hiring manager personally. Preferably accompanied by "Jin-Dominique is a great person you should definitely hire".
    – Kaz
    Aug 22, 2017 at 16:37
  • @Kaz but I HAVE TO apply through the organization's website though...there is no other way around it.... Aug 22, 2017 at 16:43
  • 1
    @ Jin-Dominique Trust me, if somebody hands the hiring manager your resume, and they want to hire you, they'll make it happen anyway.
    – Kaz
    Aug 22, 2017 at 16:49
  • There's also no reason it can't happen in parallel. The company I work for requires that the actual application be done online, but there's still room to point those applicants out to the recruiters.
    – Blrfl
    Aug 22, 2017 at 17:25

2 Answers 2


Would it be a good idea to list them as my reference on my resume? or is it not so good idea to do so?

It's not a good idea to list references in a resume. That's the wrong time and place.

If you have names to drop, do that in a cover letter instead.

Something like "Bob M, Judy T, and Roger W have all told me great things about this hospital..." Even better, have the one or all three write to the hiring manager on your behalf.


Nothing guarantees you that by listing them in your resume will make the hiring manager give you preference over other candidates. However, it is ok to list them as references, as they are people you know and are also experienced in working in hospitals.

If you consulted with them and they said you could list them then there is nothing wrong in doing so. Just, again, don't expect that to be points to your favor when being considered, even though you say it is "unionized".

I would rather focus my resume more on my experience related to hospital and my career rather than someone I know. References are sometimes required in applications longer than resumes, or when applying in some companies. In you case they even say it is not required, so including them should not be necessary, as they will most probably don't consider them when reviewing candidates.

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