Should You Include References On Your CV?

In my professional opinion, including references contact details on your CV can have drawbacks. It opens up the risk of unsolicited contact or potential inconvenience to your previous employers. Which in turn can lead them to not wanting to give you a reference in the future – unfortunately this is a case that I have seen far too many times in the industry. Household staffing is a competitive industry and I have heard horror stories from candidates about agencies contacting their references without their permission and their previous employers them refusing to give any more references in the future!

The solution:

Requesting written reference letters at the end of your employment can be a more controlled and professional approach. Having reference letters on headed paper provides tangible evidence of your previous employment and allows you to present them to potential employers or agencies as needed. It also ensures that your referees are only contacted when necessary, such as when you’re being seriously considered for a job offer. I don’t believe that previous employers need to be contacted for every role you apply for – I think this is unfair on them and can certainly damage your future job prospects.

Including References on a CV:

Pros:

  1. Convenience for Employers: Including references on a CV can make it easier for employers to gather information about your background and qualifications without having to request it separately.
  2. Demonstrates Confidence: Providing references upfront may convey confidence in your abilities and reassure potential employers of your suitability for the role.
  3. Saves Time: For employers who prefer to conduct reference checks early in the hiring process, having references readily available on the CV can save time.

Cons:

  1. Privacy Concerns: Sharing contact details of references without their consent may raise privacy concerns. Some referees may prefer not to be contacted without prior notification. Privacy and discretion is paramount in our industry!
  2. Potential for Misuse: There is a risk that some employers or agencies may contact references without your permission, leading to unnecessary disruptions for your referees and potentially damaging your professional relationships.
  3. Limited Space: CVs are typically limited in space, and including references may take up valuable real estate that could be used to highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements.
Alternative Approach:

Requesting written reference letters at the end of your employment offers several advantages:

  1. Control Over References: By requesting reference letters, you maintain control over who has access to your referees’ contact details and when they are contacted.
  2. Professionalism: Written reference letters on headed paper provide a professional and tangible endorsement of your skills and work ethic, which can carry more weight than a simple list of contact details.
  3. Flexibility: You can tailor the reference letters to highlight specific aspects of your experience or achievements relevant to the role you’re applying for, enhancing their effectiveness as supporting documentation.
  4. Protection for Referees: Requesting reference letters instead of providing contact details protects your referees from unsolicited contact and preserves your professional relationships with them.

In summary, while including references on a CV may offer some advantages in terms of convenience and efficiency, it also raises privacy and misuse concerns. Requesting written reference letters at the end of your employment provides a more controlled and professional approach, allowing you to manage your references effectively while still providing prospective employers with valuable insights into your qualifications and capabilities.

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