Deciding on Including References in Your CV

Deciding on Including References in Your CV


When you put together your CV for a job interview, one of the most important decisions you will face is whether or not to include references. References can be an essential factor in helping you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of success. However, you should be aware of the etiquette and conventions associated with this, before you decide to add them to your CV.

The Benefits of Including References

For many employers, references are seen as a valuable tool when making their decision about who to hire. By providing a reference, you give the employer additional information about your character and work performance. References often include detailed accounts of your abilities, as well as personal qualities that could benefit the role. As a result, references can be key in helping to secure the job.

Things to Consider Before Including References

When you are deciding whether or not to include references with your CV, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, make sure you have permission from any referees you provide. Secondly, ensure your references are up to date; any referees provided must have interacted with you in a professional capacity relatively recently. Finally, consider if the referees provided are suitable for the role you are interviewing for. Make sure any references you include are relevant to the job for which you are applying.

Using References Effectively

When using references on your CV, it's important to think about effective techniques. Include your most relevant reference first, as it will be the most important. Give clear contact information, such as their name, job title and contact details. Make sure you include the length of time you were employed by them, and a brief overview of your role at the company.

Alternative Ways to Include References

Another option is to include a section called ‘References Available upon Request’. This allows you to include references if requested by the employer, and therefore prevents any unnecessary inconvenience of taking up valuable space. This also allows you to tailor your references to each employer, to ensure they are most relevant.


References can be an essential factor in helping you secure a job, but you must think carefully about whether and how to include them on your CV. Consider if you have the right references, and make sure you have their permission and that you are providing up to date information. Utilise effective techniques when including references, to ensure they are relevant and add something to the job application.

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