If you are preparing for your next career move, you may be gathering references and considering whether or not you should disclose their information on your CV. This week at Verify, we address this very common candidate concern.

Should I include my references on my CV?

In our opinion, no, you shouldn’t disclose your references on your CV.  There are a few reasons why we think you shouldn’t as we will discuss below, but we are also a firm believer in data privacy (which is hilarious considering the amount of our information that is online but let sleeping hypocrites where they are, please).

So why do job seekers provide references as part of their first application? We can see how it can be viewed as a handy timesaver – lots of recruiters and companies ask for this information upfront and by adding it to your CV they will stop asking, right?

However, before sharing the details of your references with anyone, consider the following:

1) You want to maintain control of when your references are called.

You want to know when someone is going to call them. It’s nice to know when a company is getting serious about you or if they are calling references oddly early in the process (like, before they’ve spoken to you!).

2) You’d also like to give them a heads-up that they’re going to be receiving a call.

Providing a reference for a former colleague, especially for a senior manager in a busy market might be more frequent an occurrence than you think. Giving them a little notice allows them to set some time aside for the call and allows them to remember you properly if it has been a few years since you have worked together. (In the past we have spoken to managers who are happy to provide a reference for the candidate, but then may only vaguely recall the person in question!)

3) You don’t want your references called for non-reference related matters.

It may surprise you to learn that some recruiters have actually been known to call references on CVs for business development or marketing reasons. It’s not good practice and doesn’t happen in reputable recruitment consultancies but it does happen sometimes! Taking the information off your CV eliminates that irritation from the lives of your references.

So, in order to avoid any of these mishaps occurring during your job search, please take your references off your CV and only disclose this information when requested (and ideally, only when it’s getting to job offer stage.) Oh, you could also take the phrase “references available on request” off your CV too. It’s one of those things you don’t need to say.


If you have any career or recruitment questions for Verify to answer, comment on our page on LinkedIn, tweet @VerifyCommunity or send them over to candidate@verifyrecruitment.com