This is one of the most common questions I’m asked by job seekers. 99% of time I’d instruct job seekers not to list their referees, but there are a few occasions when I may. Below I have outlined my thoughts ……
CV Writing – The “NO” argument for referees
Referees can take up valuable space on your CV – Your CV should be two pages, no more. Remove referees if they are pushing your CV into the third page.
Recruiters not interested at CV review stage – When a recruiter/hiring manager is reviewing your CV they’re not really interested in referees. They’re really only interested in deciding if they want to meet you for interview. Generally speaking your referees only become important if you do well at interview.
More control – Sometimes employers can call referees without permission. This can annoy your referees, especially if they’re getting regular calls. It’s polite to call your referees to let them know a company may be calling. Another benefit is that you can inform your referees about the role you’re targeting, helping them provided relevant information to the recruiter.
CV Writing – The “YES” argument for referees
When requested in the job advert – If an employer states to include referees on your application it’d be silly not to follow instructions – simple!
High profile referee – I might include referees if you’ve a key player in the industry, or a high profile name. These names/people may grab the attention of the reader, influencing their decision to call you for interview.
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