How to enter references on your CV

References on your CV

How does your potential future employer ensure that the jobs you postulate you have had and the work tasks you have reportedly performed are not just garnish on your resume to capture your future employer’s interest in a close job search race?

You are drafting your application and your resume. In preparing your CV, you list all your competencies as well as work experience, however, like so much else in life, it is an advantage to have evidence for your postulates. This is where references come into the picture.

In previous job searches, you may have attached written recommendations from your former employers to your applications, but in an ever-changing digital world, it can be hard to express yourself about an (hopefully) A4 page of praise.

In addition, it is conceivable that the company you have applied to has received a large pile of applications, which means that there is quite a short time to examine each one.

And if you are at the forefront of the field in the selection race, your (off) choice can be decisive for whether you are pushed over the finish line, or whether your closest candidate is ultimately at the top of the job podium

Reference defined

It’s just about what you claim you can lack evidence. And thus, your reference (s) can act as evidence in your application and thus confirm or deny your postulates.

A reference is thus a person who both wants to and can express himself or herself about you in a work context, both personally and professionally to a potential future employer.

This can be in the form of a former colleague, work relationship, customer, business partner, boss or something completely different if it is work-relevant for your future employer.

References: Where and When?

First and foremost, it’s a good idea to contact the people you intend to list as references.

This allows you to prepare your references that they will potentially be contacted by a potential future employer and thereby prepare your references on what profile you would like them to convey.

You can advantageously interrogate concrete references about what they intend to convey further in a possible conversation. If you do not want to contact your references, you can make a point on your CV where you write that you can provide references if they wish.

An employer does not contact all applicants’ references, as it is a cumbersome process for many applicants. Thus, it is typically after the first separation process that references are drawn.

This allows you to simply notify your references of a possible call when you know that it will most likely be relevant for the employer to use them.

You can place the point of references on your CV. Whether you place it at the top, center or bottom of the resume is individual and depends on how important you find this point to your profile. If you see references as a point that can promote your place in the field, then you can advantageously place it in the top of the CV placed after your CV profile text.

What if I graduate?

As a recent graduate or graduate without much work experience, it can be a challenge to find more relevant references that one can present.

If you are in that position, you can use your supervisor from the study as a reference or a reference from a study-relevant job, a voluntary work or a relevant reference from a potential internship.

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