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Provide References

Sometimes a job vacancy text states that you must provide a number of references. Sometimes they are requested during the course of the application process. How do you handle the request for references?

What is a reference?

Sometimes employers want to hear from someone else how you are functioning, what kind of person you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc. In that case they ask you to provide a number of references. It's forbidden to request information from someone without your knowledge , so a potential employer will always have to ask for your permission. This means that you can think about who will have your details provided to you.

Who do you ask for reference?

It's common practice to never give someone unsolicited as a reference. Always ask the person concerned whether he / she thinks it's right to act as a reference for you. Then that person is not attacked by a phone call from someone who wants to know everything about you. Choose as reference people who:

  • Know you well
  • who you know can tell positive things about you
  • of whom you know that they can articulate less positive things diplomatically

When choosing references, consider not only your previous employer, but also, for example, former teachers, or people who know you as a volunteer and so on.

Provide references

  • It's usually not necessary to include references in your CV if this is not requested in the vacancy text. In most cases, employers will not seek information about candidates at an early stage of the application process. They only do this later in the procedure, with the candidates in whom they are really interested. At that time, the committee will sometimes ask you to provide references.
  • If you publish your resume on the internet or have a LinkedIn profile, don't put any references in it at all, because you have no idea where that information will end up.
  • If you are not asked, but you still want to let us know that you have references, then include the following sentence in your CV: References: on request.
  • If references are requested, include a separate heading 'References' in your CV. You then state the full name, company and contact details of those you specify and their position. An example:


    Mrs. Antony
    Publisher www.exampledomain.com
    Telephone no.: 123-456789
    Email: antony@exampledomain.com

  • Check whether all the details of your references are up-to-date, because it's of course somewhat strange if it turns out that the sponsor has not been working at the specified location for three months.
  • Do not state the good things about the references about you. That makes a boastful impression.

Honesty is the best policy

There are companies that instruct private corporate investigation agencies to check CVs for truth. This type of investigation touches the limits of the Personal Data Protection Act. It may say something about the employer if he uses these types of resources. The employer must also request your permission for this type of investigation.

To give a potential employer guarantees about your resume, you can have some of those type of research companies check your resume on your initiative. In this way you will receive a quality mark for your CV, from which it must be apparent that you have been as honest as gold. The motto is: never lie in your resume or cover letter and carefully consider where the boundary lies between honesty and bluff .

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