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.

5 Answers 5


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.

  • 16
    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.
    – Móż
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 1:05
  • Yeah, I can confirm that giving a 3rd-party recruiter your reference list is a bad idea. As I mention in my answer to Recruiting company demands references, a recruiter actually called one of my references once without asking me for permission first or giving me a heads up, and I have no idea what the purpose was either, because the recruiter never told me that he had a possible job opening lined up or anything like that. I never even heard back from the recruiter after that. Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 2:20

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).


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.


You are obviously not at the hiring end. If you were at the hiring end, you would know that for many people, it would be very bad if their reference got contacted unless they already had a job offer. My current boss would probably be my first reference for my next job - if someone called him today and asked for a reference for me, that wouldn't be exactly good for my position in the company.

I know that, and any employer knows that, so nobody will name references in their CV or expect references in their CV. If you think I should supply references in my CV, that gives my sixth sense a queasy feeling, so your company isn't going to pass my side of the interview.


On entry level positions especially for new graduates and or students, etc., I like to see references listed. Often I will see 50 applicants for one entry level position. If I am looking at more advanced positions I would never contact a reference unless I am truly interested in hiring the person and I would discuss with the applicant prior... In some companies if someone calls and checks your references for a new job it is the kiss of death.

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