Should You Add Reference List on Your Resume?

Does a CV require references and why do they matter

Some people might think that referral controls are a thing of the past, particularly given how easy it is for employers today to research job candidates online and through social media. In fact, about 9 out of 10 (87%) of recruiters said they use online sources like LinkedIn when they examine candidates during the recruitment process, the 2014 recruiting nation report from That may explain why 59% of job seekers use social media to investigate the company’s culture of the organizations they are interested in, the report also found. LinkedIn allows users to post recommendations on their job profiles. Other members. 

However, 70% of recruiters said they still conduct benchmarks for each candidate, according to a recent survey by SkillSurvey, which provides cloud-based solutions to HR professionals.

In addition, by asking recruiting managers why they carry out referral controls, 63 percent said checks help them hire better employees, according to a survey conducted by OfficeTeam. A referral check may even be the deciding factor for many potential employers when interviewing job candidates, as hiring managers surveyed said they eliminate more than one in five (21%) candidates for consideration after speaking to their Professional contacts

Clearly, having strong references is important for employers and job seekers alike. The challenge, however, still falls on the shoulders of the job hunter to gather stellar references.

Including contact information for referrals on your resume can certainly make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to reach out to these people. However, many career coaches and resume writers say there are negative aspects to including references in your CV.

For example, Vancouver Professional Reporter Milton Kiang says that if an application for employment requires referrals, the employer will simply ask the applicants separately. In addition, by including references in your resume, you lose control over knowing when you can get in touch with your referral (s). That is a common misconception, says Kiang, who recommends that job seekers know the references beforehand when they can expect to receive a call from a potential employer.

Space is also a problem, especially if your resume is already tight. Including references in the document means you are giving up valuable real estate-space that could be better spent highlighting your skills or experience. Even stating in your resume “references are available upon request” can be a waste of space.

However, Kiang says there is a caveat: “The only time I advise clients to list their references is when the referee is a public figure (eg a civic leader or public official) or is recognized in their industry.”

For example, executive producer Scott Knowlton includes a reference who was a leading expert on Apple in his online resume.

It might also make sense for freelancers and contractors to include past clients in their resume so that potential employers know who to contact if they want to verify their credentials. (Of course, you would also want to ask for these references for permission before including them in your resume.)

However, when you are going through the traditional job application process it is best not to include references in your resume.