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I've read several posts here about advising NOT to put references in resume, but when I see "Furnished Upon Request" or "Available upon request", it gives my sixth sense a queasy feeling.

If I was on the hiring end, I would like to see references right then and there instead of making me go through the extra step of looking for them.

Am I correct in my thinking? Perhaps there is something else I should say next to "References" section.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 25 down vote accepted

When I've been on the hiring end, I ignore "references furnished upon request" as it is unnecessary. If references are needed, I would ask the candidate to provide the list of references, whether they mentioned "available on request" or not. If references are not needed, then there is no need to mention them at all.

I would never include the contact information for my references in a resume because resumes tend to get sent all over the place and I would not want my references to be contacted unless it is by a specific company and I am fairly deep into their hiring pipeline.

I have also been at in person interviews where the hiring manager requested to see my references, glanced at the reference sheet, then promptly handed it back, as it was more of a "Does this candidate have references" check box on their evaluation sheet than anything else.

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13  
The "passed around" problem is especially the case if a recruiter ever sees that CV. They will contact your referees "just to touch base" and see whether the recruiter is hiring. And they will mention your name. And shove that CV into their database, where every recruiter who sees your CV will see those referees. After the 10th, or 20th, or 50th recruiter rings your referee to "touch base" that referee is likely to associate your name with bad experiences. –  Mσᶎ Jul 18 at 1:05

I have never put references on a resume, or even "references available upon request."

Most people will look at your resume for your experience, and the references (if needed) will be asked for later. This also allows you the time if your references are requested to give those references a heads up and let them know that a phone call will be coming (as a courtesy).

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The reason I don't put references directly on a resume is because if that resume gets put into a company's HR database (which they all do) and gets resurrected in, say, two years, the company won't run into any of these scenarios:

  1. some of your references' contact info may have changed
  2. you may have some different references (more recent)
  3. ...or you'd just like to let your references know that someone from Acme Widget Company may be contacting them in the next month

I also will not list any references on my resume, and often not in my cover letter either. If a company is interested in pursuing something further, they can reach out to me to get references - which is also an excellent way for them to confirm my current availability/interest.

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