Should references be included in a CV?
It is still fairly common to see references stated in a CV. It used to be standard protocol that CVs always had at least two full references, sometimes more. However, the thinking on this has now changed so that standard practice is not to include references. It is not even necessary to say, ‘references available on request’. So, why would you not include these once important details?
You only need to provide references after you have accepted an offer of employment
Quite simply, providing references on a CV is just way too early in the recruitment process. Employers will usually only take up references once their offer has been accepted by you. A typical recruitment process may include initial CV, telephone chat and then two formal interviews. This may be carried out over several weeks or months. There is no need to give references right at the start of this process.
Leave your options open
If you do not include references on the CV, you can decide much later on whom you might like to choose. You may change your mind from your initial thoughts. If you had already stated the references on your CV then it could be a little awkward to say you would like to choose somebody else later. By not showing your hand too early, you can win this tactical game of poker.
Keeping your CV brief and punchy
Most recruiters will skim read your CV – often spending less than 30 seconds reading it. Keep your CV short and make the most of this short window of opportunity. Why clutter it with information that is superfluous at this time? Use the space wisely to include details of your achievements and expertise rather than references. Your CV is about getting you that all important first interview. Once secured, it is up to you to do the best you can at interview and take things further. It’s then you can start thinking about who would make good referees.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.
CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.