Career Quandary: Should I include references in my CV?

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Neville Rose, director at CV Writers, answers our reader's career dilemma on whether to include references in a CV. 

Question: Should I include references in my CV? A recruiter recently told me I didn’t need to but I always thought it was important to include references.

Neville Rose says:

The recruiter is right. There is no need to give references on a CV – or even say ‘references available on request’. It is a given that you will be required to provide references but only much later in the recruitment process. References are often the last part of the recruitment process frequently asked for only after an applicant has been made an offer and accepted. So there is no need to provide them at this early stage. 

Tactically, it also makes sense to hold back from providing references on a CV. As you go through the recruitment process and have first, second and possibly third stage interviews, you may think again about who would be the best reference for you. If you have already given references on a CV, then you narrow down the options and may confine yourself to those already provided. 

Just as there is no need to give references, there is no need to allude to them either. It is common practice for people to write ‘references available on request’ at the end of their CV. Again, this is unnecessary. Keep your CV clean and clutter free. There is no need to include anything that doesn’t really add something to the CV. You will need to provide references, but only if you are offered a job. There is still a way to go yet.

If you would like help with your CV, cover letter or LinkedIn profile, CV Writers can help through a variety of CV services. 

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