I am an undergraduate student who is creating a CV for internship. I saw a CV template which had a heading called "Reference." What does that mean? Is it related to the applicant's previous work experience?


Yes, it does relate to work experience, but not necessarily just past work experience. You may see the phrase 'References available upon request', or simply a section called 'References'. In either case the reader would expect to see the name and contact information of someone who can comment your performance in a current or past job. For example:


  • Bob Jones, Vice President of Sales, Jones Button Company, 444.555.2222, bjones@buttons.com
  • Gail Pritchard, Lab Manager, University of Somewhere, Phone 43.543.2223.553

You typically have the same information layout for each reference, but it's not strictly required.

For your information, in the United States a CV is an academic summary of experience (curriculum vitae), as distinct from a résumé (ray-zoo-may) which is for professional experience. In the UK, CV is used for both interchangeably. So what I describe as a reference above is for an American CV — that is, a résumé. :-)


I have generally seen it as References, but the OED defines it thus:

The action or an act of referring one person to another for information or testimonial; a person to whom one is or may be referred for this purpose; spec. = referee n. 5a.


A (usually written) testimonial produced by a referee (referee n. 5a), esp. a letter from a previous employer testifying to someone's ability or reliability, used when applying for a new job.

In the Reference (or References) section, one would put the contact details of those whom the employer or human resources staff may call to verify the contents of the CV and query the character and appropriateness of the candidate for the job.

I have never seen an entire written reference included in a CV, but it certainly may be enclosed upon submission.

protected by tchrist Jun 3 '14 at 5:12

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