Should I include references in my CV?

It used to be standard protocol to include references in a CV. In fact, two used to be the norm. However, the thinking on this has changed more recently. So why now leave off these seemingly essential details?

It used to be standard protocol to include references in a CV. In fact, two used to be the norm. However, the thinking on this has changed more recently. So why now leave off these seemingly essential details? Click To Tweet

References are not required this early in the recruitment process

The main reason is that references are only required at the very end of the recruitment process. As a job applicant, you may have one, two or even three interviews or assessments to go through. You then need to be made an offer and only after you accept an offer will a reference usually be requested. The simple fact is that the purpose of a CV is to get you the first interview, references are superfluous so early on.

You give yourself more options by providing references later

There is also an excellent tactical reason not to supply references on your CV. As you move through the progressive stages of the recruitment process, it is likely you will think of different people who could act as referees. If you have given this information already, it could become awkward to say you would like someone else to be a referee instead. As in a game of poker, it’s best not to reveal your hand too early.

Space is precious, don’t waste it with references

Remember, an employer will spend less than 30 seconds on average reading a CV. Time and space are valuable so don’t waste that space on unnecessary technical details such as references. Everyone will need to provide a reference at some stage, so you aren’t creating an advantage over other applicants by including them. Better to use the space in your CV to convince the employer to call you to interview by providing evidence of achievements.

So, if your CV still contains references now may be the time to strike them off. There is no need either to say ‘references available on request’.  Why state the obvious? You will have to provide them anyway. But first things first, focus your CV now on getting that all-important interview.

 

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