I’m regularly asked this question by job seekers. I’d say 99% of the time I recommend that job seekers don’t add referees to their CV, but there are a few occasions when I recommend the do add them.
CV writing – The “NO” argument
WASTE VALUABLE SPACE – Adding referees can take up valuable space on your CV. A CV should be two pages, no more.
TOO EARLY FOR REFEREES – Recruiters are not interested in referees at the CV review stage. When a recruiter/hiring manager is reviewing your CV they’re only interested in deciding if they want to meet you. They’ll only become interested in referees after a successful interview.
MORE CONTROL – It gives you more control. Sometimes employers will go ahead and call referees without permission. Regular calls may annoy your referees. It’s polite to call your referee to let them know someone may be calling. During this call you can inform your referee about the role you’re targeting, helping them to be more specific when providing information to the recruiter.
CV writing – The “YES” argument
JOB ADVERT REQUESTS THEM – If an employer states to include two referee on your application it’d be silly not to follow instructions.
KNOW SOMEBODY IMPORTANT – I might include a referee if it’s 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.
Paul Mullan is a leading Irish CV writer. He writes CVs for executives, professionals and graduates. He is a former Career Doctor with the Irish Independent, and regularly provides expert CV advice on @recruitireland job site. Paul provides a nationwide CV service – Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Meath and Kildare …. For more information contact us or visit his main website MEASURABILITY.IE