How to Write a Resume - Using References on a Resume/CV

The UK and the US tend to steer away from referees names being listed in a resume. There are a number of reasons behind this, but needless to say, you’ll nearly always see “references available up on request” tucked at the end of the resume.


Australia is at split ends when it comes to the use of referees in a resume, with many feeling it quite acceptable to list referee information including that of contact numbers. However, before you consider listing your referee details, there are several points to consider.


The Pro’s:


Referees can add credence to a resume and are especially useful when you want to demonstrate the confidence others have in you. It also serves as a useful aid when looking to name drop. For example, an endorsement by a CEO, Director or someone of a noteworthy position can, and does add value. Strong references coupled with a solid resume will often return immediate results.


The Con’s:


You need to be absolutely certain that the referee you list is going to provide a strong reference, and that they won’t mind receiving several phone calls from recruiters, or from potential employers. Also, if you referee starts to become feed-up with receiving multiple 30 minute calls from recruiters, that once glowing reference soon becomes rather flat. Therefore, it's vital that you keep control of whom and how many people call your referees.


 Additionally, listing names and position titles of referees can sometimes result in recruiters using this information for their own marketing database.


Alternative options:


1) Avoid full contact information: You may want to consider hiding your referees phone or email contact details but still include their names, position titles and company. Also, add a statement such as “full referee contact details available by request only”. This is a particularly useful way of listing referees whist keeping control of who contacts them.


2) Use "recommendation" statements as opposed to referee details: Recommendations are an excellent strategy for strengthening your resume, and negate the need to include referee information. Recommendations should be no more than a one paragraph summary, and you should ideally list no more than three, preferably two statements.


Example of a recommendation:

“Jane was instrumental in delivering the XYZ Project on time and to budget, and we were sorry to see her go, but knew that Jane was ready for bigger challenges”. Mr Smith, CEO of ABC Builders.

Next on how to write a resume: Common resume mistakes

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