Should You Add References to CV?

The question is, should you add references to CV? Referencing is an important part of any recruiting process because most hiring managers only want to work with candidates who have a solid reputation and a solid history.

They also take into account any references that the applicant provides. This reference provided stands as a guarantor for the applicant in the job application process, in an event where the applicant performs any wrong  the reference is held responsible for damages together with the applicant. In most organizations, the nature of  reference provided determines the success of the recruitment process.

In this article we will be discussing on the references for job application process, their requirements and roles in the job application process.

What/Who is a Reference?

Cambridge English dictionary defines reference the act of mentioning someone or something in speech or writing. They further described it as a letter that is written by someone who knows you, to describe you and say if you are suitable for a job, course, etc. in the job application process, it goes further, your reference must be someone who not only knows you well and is prepared to act as a guarantor for you, but also has a solid reputation and background.

There have been numerous arguments on the necessity for reference in resumes, numerous academics and educators have argued on the subject; whether or not references should be included on a resume. Although, in early times, putting references on resumes, gave them edge over other resumes without one, but with the evolvement of world and recruitment process, it is no longer seen as a necessity.

Related: Best Online Resume Builders

Reasons why adding references to your CV doesn’t matter according to researchers.

Three major reasons were provided by researchers who believed adding references to resumes doesn’t really matter.

  1. The early stage of the recruitment process only deals with the applicant information: References are only requested when hiring managers are prepared to consider an application for a position, indicating that they are the final step in the hiring process before an applicant and hiring manager sign an employment contract.
  2. It gives an applicant more options for provision later: References should be the last item a candidate submits because they reveal a lot about them and allow hiring managers to assess you only on your own qualifications rather than your support system or other candidates’ attributes. It could be difficult to suggest that you’d like someone else to be the referee if you’ve already provided this information. It’s best not to disclose your hand too early.
  3. Finally, it is wise to make use of the limited space you have and avoid leaving any ambiguity in your resume. Space is limited, and adding one or two references could render your resume unusable. Given that most hiring managers don’t have the luxury of time, they typically become anxious when they read resumes that are longer than one or two pages. Because of this, it is advisable to use the space on your resume for things that are more valuable, including stressing what you can bring to the table for the employer.

When it comes to the question of if including references in a resume is necessary or not, the answer is both yes and no, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes it is necessary, other times it is not, example is when it is part of the criterial for an application process, this means it’s a must it be added to the resume.

The question we should be asking is ‘when should I?’ or ‘shouldn’t I include references in my resume or CV?’.

Should You Add References to CV?

When you should.

  1. References should be included in your resume, if or when requested by the hiring manger. The hiring manager may ask that references be added to your resume as a requirement for the job application process. It is necessary in this instance and shouldn’t be disregarded or tolerated.
  2. To give your resume an edge over others: This depends on your personal perception and the quality of your references. If they are reputable or well-known, it will be to your favor. Besides, who wouldn’t want to add someone with professionalism to be a reference in their resume.
  3. To improve the authenticity or originality of your resume: Giving your resume references lends it legitimacy. It fosters a sense of trust and reveals your transparency to the recruiting manager. In other words, it changes their perception of you and gives you more credibility.
  4. Finally, to fill up blank spaces: Incase you fill your resume is scanty dues to the lack of work experience or skills, an easy way to cover up is to add references.

When you shouldn’t.

Below are five scenarios when you shouldn’t add references to your resume.

  1. When it is part of the job’s description.
  2. When you only have one or two relevant references.
  3. When it is not required at the outset of the application process.
  4. When your resume has little to no room left (space).
  5. When the references are not relevant to the field of employment.

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