For heaven's sake, keep your references off of your resume. Please don't tempt people like me into calling them up to try to hire them instead of you. If I can hire your past boss, I just might.
Ditto with the phrase, "References Available Upon Request." Really? We all assume they are. Don't waste precious resume space with pointing out the obvious. If you can't supply references, maybe you should note that. But, you probably wouldn't get a call then......
All kidding aside, you need to have your list of references ready to go upon demand. Include 3-5 professional references and all of their contact information. If your references are tough to reach, make a longer list. For contact information, include their phone number, e-mail address, city and state. Some companies may ask also for personal references, so keep a similar list of those on a separate sheet.
If you're dealing with a reputable company, you shouldn't be concerned about turning over all of this contact information. They'll only ask for it if they're truly interested in you as a candidate and they won't feed it into some kind of direct mail campaign. If you're seriously worried about how safe it is to give this information to an employer you've been talking to, maybe you're talking to the wrong employer.
Before turning one of your lists over, however, it's just fine to ask for permission to contact your references before they get a call from the employer. And, it's most likely a very good idea to do just that. Alert your references that someone might be calling to check your background. In today's concern over identity theft, most people are a little bit leery of strangers calling requesting what might be considered private information. If the employer e-mails a reference request, it may make it into a spam or junk mail folder. Give your friends and professional associates a courtesy heads-up so that they'll return the call they get or will know to watch for an e-mail. Also, it's not always the recruiter who will be running your references. So, simply explain to your friends that you're not 100% sure who might be calling. Let them know what kind of position you're trying to land, with what company and why you think you'd be great in the job.
Once your references have been run, never ask what people said about you. Information given during a reference check falls under confidentiality rules. If you're curious, ask your reference.
Assignment # 9
Make up your reference lists. Draft a few paragraphs you could use to explain the kind of job you're seeking and why you'd be great in the job. Having a written standby might make some of those future phone calls to your references more comfortable. And, if you try for the top-of-the-head approach, you might forget something important you wanted to say.