Career quandary: Should I include references in my CV?

News by Neville Rose

Neville Rose, director at CV Writers, answers our reader's career dilemma on whether to include references in a CV.

Question: “I have always included references in my CV as they are usually requested, however, a recruiter has told me recently to take them off as they are deemed unnecessary, is this correct?”

Neville Rose says…

In this instance, the recruiter is right. It is not necessary to include references in your CV. In fact, you needn't even mention "references are available on request". Where it was once commonplace to have at least two full references detailed on a CV, the thinking on this has changed in recent years.

The reason is that references are only needed right at the very end of the recruitment process – often after an offer has been made and accepted. With your CV being the very beginning of the recruitment process it is therefore superfluous at this stage to provide this information. The purpose of your CV is to get you an interview in the first place, that is all.

There is also a good tactical reason on your part not to include a reference on your CV. As you go through the different stages of the process from first to second or even third interview, you are likely to think of different people who would make ideal referees. If you have already given the names of referees, you may be unnecessarily restricting your options.

Space is precious on your CV so don't clutter it up with unnecessary information. Use that space to describe your achievements and provide compelling reasons that persuade the reader to invite you to interview. That is what you want your CV to do. Save your references for later.

CV Writers provide a variety of CV writing services including cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. They also provide a Free CV review.

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