References. It is assumed that you have references if you have previous employment history. It is not at all necessary to include “references available upon request”, adding this is actually a potential deterrent. Potential employers will ask you for your references later on in the interview process if they see fit. Of course, if references are asked for within the application process, provide them - just not on your resume.
Using a functional resume format is beneficial when you have gaps in employment. The functional resume highlights honors and achievements more than work experience. It lists your skills and other attributes that make you a good employee at the top of the resume. It is important to fill the gaps in employment with experiences that helped you grow. Volunteer work, continuing education, and other projects you worked on during that time are all great options. Be sure to use a positive tone while describing the gaps in employment and be confident about them when interviewing later.