Pros and Cons of Including References in Your CV

Pros and Cons of Including References in Your CV

What Are References?

References are people who can confirm your professional skills, qualifications, and abilities to potential employers. Typically, these are academic and industry contacts who can assess your performance and provide positive testimonials.

The Pros of Including References in Your CV

References can be a great asset when applying for a new job. By providing potential employers with other people’s observations about you, they may be more likely to trust you, choose you for an interview, and offer you the job. At the same time, references can also boost your visibility and credibility within your field or industry. Plus, you can highlight your performance through your references in specific areas such as expertise, communication, initiative, and problem solving.

The Cons of Including References in Your CV

The main downside of references is that they can take up valuable space in your CV. For employers, references can also be a burden. Your potential employer may not have the time nor the inclination to speak to your references, so you may not get the intended benefit of having references in the first place. Also, a lack of references in your CV won’t necessarily count against you. If you happen to leave one out by mistake, it won’t impact your application as long as you’ve included the basic information such as education, experience, and contact information.

How to Effectively List Your References

When adding references to your CV, ask each person for permission to list them. Also, you should include their full name, job title, company and contact information (email and phone number). It’s also a good idea to tailor each reference to the job you’re applying for. Include enough information to demonstrate why your references think you’d make a good choice for the job. Since your references may be contacted, be sure to include people who can speak positively about your qualifications and achievements. Finally, keep the list brief and only include references if you’re confident that they will speak positively about you.


References can be a great way to demonstrate to potential employers that your skills and qualifications are impressive. They can provide valuable insight into your experience and credentials. Just keep in mind that references should be used strategically and tailored to each job to maximize your chances for success. Always get permission from your referees and provide enough information to show why they’re a good choice.

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