To reference or not to reference, that is the question many jobseekers ask when it comes to their CVs.
Unfortunately most then decide to reference and along with writing the words “CV” or “Curriculum Vitae” on your…well, CV, this is one sure sign your job search is in need of a makeover.
Providing actual references on your CV – as in full names and contact details of former employers and the likes who can vouch for your credentials – is bad practice. Not just because it takes up precious CV space, but more so because it is pointless – absolutely pointless. In fact, I’m seriously shocked that some career advisors and “helpful” online job sites still reel out this antiquated advice.
“References available on request”
Equally pointless is writing the phrase “references available on request”. Let’s think about it rationally: imagine you’re an employer with piles of applications to go through to find that one candidate; do you really care whether or not Jane of John Doe has references if they’re miles away from what you’re looking for in a future employee? The answer is of course, “No!”
Very few employers actually want to see your references unless they’re getting ready to make you a job offer, and even then, this usually happens at the interview stage or beyond. If you’re completing an application form (and these are different beasts altogether), by all means include your full blown references, but on your CV, ditch all references to references (yes, pun intended).
What you should really be putting at the end of your CV is your interests and activities. And then that’s it…nothing else…CV finished.
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