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References: Do I Include Them On My CV?

References can cause quite a divide among job seekers, should or shouldn’t you include them? What does the employer expect to see on a CV and how will it affect your job chances?

Here’s what we think…

Providing references without being asked to in your job application can look a little outdated. Not only this but it can also take up a significant amount of precious space on your CV. Which could be utilised in more effective ways.

A recruiter has limited time to review a job application and you don’t want to waste this time by writing out references they haven’t asked for. They would much prefer to read in more detail your past work experience and skills to gain a greater understanding of you as a candidate and assess your likelihood to fit the potential role.

During these early stages, references are simply just not necessary and it’s unlikely a recruiter or hiring professional will contact your referees during the initial candidate screening process. Unless asked to do otherwise, it’s best to avoid references altogether.

‘References available upon request’

However, ‘references available upon request’ is a perfectly acceptable sentence to include within your CV. It won’t take up too much room and can act as a polite reminder to acknowledge the fact that you do have references and would have no issue in providing them.

Although be warned, some hiring managers and recruiters may take this as a ‘stating the obvious’ kind of sentence. A lot of hiring professionals simply expect you to have references and would not consider hiring someone who didn’t. So to some, saying that you have them can seem kind of pointless.


Well there you have it, our thoughts on references but what about yours? Do you agree? Or do you always include references and have faced no issues with doing so? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs

Read more career-related advice here.

One Comment

  1. Don’t give the names and contact details of your referees on your CV. You should simply state that ‘References are available on request’. Employers will ask you for details if and when they are ready to offer you a position.

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