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5 min read

References And Their Role On A CV

While some employers will want to know the details of prospective references when reading your CV, others will prefer to wait until you have successfully navigated through the interview process before requesting reference contact details. This is another reason that each job you apply for has a tailored CV, as mentioned in previous articles.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
December 4, 2023

While some employers will want to know the details of prospective references when reading your CV, others will prefer to wait until you have successfully navigated through the interview process before requesting reference contact details. This is another reason that each job you apply for has a tailored CV, as mentioned in previous articles.

This article will give you some key points to consider if you have been requested or decided to to include references on your CV. References play an extremely important role in securing a job. A carefully selected reference will provide valuable information regarding your previous role and ability to perform tasks and responsibilities, your skills, work ethic and some basic insight into your character. This is an excellent way in which the prospective employer can get to know you through the valued opinions of other professionals.

If you are going to be providing the details of people that are willing to provide a reference then you must first ensure that they are exactly that - willing! You must always obtain permission from your references before including them on your CV. Not only is this courtesy but it also allows them to be prepared to be contacted. Prospective employers may write to or email a reference but if information is needed quickly then they may phone your reference directly.

Only give details of references who are reliable and relevant. Prospective employers rarely want to hear from your neighbour or best friend - they want references who can vouch for your professional abilities. Ideal choices are former managers, supervisors, teachers or other individuals who have had direct contact with you in a professional capacity.

You will usually be asked to provide a minimum of two references so try to aim for diverse perspectives from individuals who have known you in different settings. These can collectively highlight your skills and experiences which will provide the prospective employer with a well rounded view of your capabilities.

Check that the information that you are documenting on your CV is both accurate and up to date. Give full consideration to ensuring that the full name of the reference, their title, company name, email address and phone number are correct as you can not afford to make mistakes.

If possible, tailor the references that align with the job for which you are applying and choose references who have sound knowledge of the skills and qualities required for the job.

Obviously, some people may not have a large choice of references for various reasons but if you do, choose them wisely and for your own advantage. Excellent references on your CV will substantiate your qualifications and enhance your credibility. Therefore, using discretion in choosing who provides them is essential and could be the deciding factor on whether or not you are successful in getting the job.

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