While creating a resume for your next job application, besides a good subject line what do you add in? Your name, your experience, your credentials, and of course, references. References are considered one of the most vital components and sections of your CV as they can vouch for your experience, qualifications and speak in your favor, which can get you the job you have been eyeing.
Generally, these references are meant to be of people who have either been your seniors or your colleagues in your past jobs. However, when adding their name and other details, do you add them after telling them, or do you not ask them at all?
If your answer is the latter, then let me tell you, you could also land up in a soup rather than getting the job. Let us evaluate how essential references are for any job seeker and how important it is to let your references know that you are adding them to your resume.
Why Are References Added to The Resume?
References are the details of the list of individuals you include in your resumes to testify about your qualifications, skills, expertise, talents, and character. Your personal references are your referees or personal advocates. The employer might call them, send them emails or letters to verify the details that you have included in your resume. Employers greatly value references to achieve a third-party opinion about the impact you would be bringing to the team.
Is It Good To Add References On Your Resume?
While applying for the job, if the employer demands references to your resume, you should undoubtedly add references. If instructed by the employer, adding references would be a good decision. However, at the early stage of the job selection process, adding references may not be absolutely necessary if the recruiter has not asked for it. In that case, it would entirely be your call.
Advantages Of Adding References To Your Resume:
Disadvantages Of Adding References To Your Resume
Adding references to your resume has some pros as well as some cons. So you should think and make an informed decision before adding references to your resume.
Common Mistakes That You Make While Adding Job References
While adding references, there are some common mistakes that you, as candidates, might be making. Taking care of these mistakes can work exceptionally well in your favour and create an even smoother ground for your smooth entry into the organization.
- You may be adding references in your resume without even taking permission from them, and your added ‘referees’ might totally be unaware that they have been added as your references.
- You may not have informed your references about the post that you have applied for. In that case, they might not be prepared to discuss about your relevant skills with the recruiter.
- You might have added outdated information about your references.
- You may have listed bad references, as they might not be capable of providing any formal information about you, other than the essential employment dates.
Recommended Reading: How to Send a Thank You Email After An Interview?
Using Someone As A Reference Without Asking – Why It Is A Mistake?
It sometimes happens that, as young interns and fresh graduates, you cannot find references for yourself. In that case, you tend to add individuals as your references without asking them. You might be adding fake data about your references or even copying details of famous personalities from the internet. This is highly unethical and should never be done.
You might be thinking that among all the other details, the employer would never crosscheck the credentials of your referees and confirm your data with them. This is far from being true, as the employer would undoubtedly contact your listed reference and try to ensure the data that was provided in the list.
Also, if the reference is totally unaware that their name has been added to your resume, they might not even be sure of how they should be responding to the employers’ questions. The employer would then be forming negative opinions about you and may even disqualify you from the entire selection process. They could also consider you a fraud and believe that every detail you have added to your resume is incorrect. In that case, the employer may blacklist you, too, if they find out that you have added fake references to your resume.
If such a scenario arises, you would not be getting any job offers from most of the reputed companies in the future as well. That would be a very high price for you to pay, and would even take away the opportunity of getting a good job.
So, using someone as a reference without asking them is a big mistake, as the consequences of this action could be way too severe. It is even better not to add any references than to add fake references in your resume. It is not mandatory to add influential personalities as references for your resumes. You could always list a teacher from your high school or a professor from your college whom you are fond of as a reference. They would surely be glad to be added as your reference.
What To Do If Your References Don’t Respond?
Adding references to your resume can make and break your chances of successfully landing the job you wish for. So you must be very careful before adding someone to your list of references. Also, before adding references, you must always reach out to them and provide them with all the necessary information about the posts you would be applying for. But what would you do if your references did not respond?
You may be facing a situation where your references may not be responding to your calls, messages, and emails. In that case, you probably might be panicking as the situation confuses you. But, you should not lose your calm and try to verify whether you have the right contact information. If your reference has shifted to a new company or a new city altogether chances are, that they might have changed their contact details. In that case, you could search for their credentials from their LinkedIn profiles or conduct a Google search.
However, if the contact details of your references are correct but they are still not responding, you must understand that your referee is deliberately ignoring you. In that case, you must take the hint and not add them to your reference list, as it might damage your chances of getting the job. If your reference is not responsive enough, you might have to choose a different individual as your reference.
To choose the correct individuals as your references, you must reach out to them and share all the details about the post you would be applying for. You must also brief them about their role as your reference and what probable questions your recruiters might ask.
How To Let Your References Know That They Would Be Contacted? #Example Emails
While listing someone as your reference, we must inform them about the entire process so that they are ready to receive the employer’s call or email. You can inform your references by formally sending them emails with all the necessary documents attached. Here are some of the examples following which you can easily notify your references that your recruiters would contact them.
Subject: Reference Request.
Respected sir/madam (the name of your reference),
I hope you are doing well! How have things been with you and your (company or institution they are related to)?
I am writing to you to inform you that I have been interviewing for the post of (name of the position) at (the company name). I wish to add your name as my reference if you are willing, as we have (you would be stating how we had been in association), and you are in full awareness to speak on my behalf, with respect to my (skills and abilities relevant for the position).
I have added my resume and the description of the position for your reference. I am aware that the recruiting team is looking for a candidate who possesses (the skills required for the post). So, I was hoping if you could specifically speak about:
- (The skills and abilities you possess that would be relevant to the post)
- (Relevant projects you had been associated to).
Kindly let me know about your response to my proposal. I believe you would be receiving the (call/email) from the (recruiter’s name) at (the company name) around (time of the expected call/email). I would be highly obliged if you would accept my proposal and kindly do me the favor.
In case they have agreed to be your reference, and you have already submitted in your resume, you would have to send them another email for updating them about the procedure.
Subject: Update on reference request I had requested.
Respected sir/madam (the name of your reference),
I would like to thank you for agreeing to be my reference. I would like to bring to your kind notice that, I am through with my interviews for the (position you have applied for) and the company (name of the company where you have applied at) would soon be contacting you at around (time of the expected call/email). Please let me know if you need any other information that I can provide you with.
Subject- Follow up on the reference request
Respected sir/madam (the name of your reference),
I would like to thank you again for agreeing to be my reference. I would like to like to bring to your kind notice that I have accepted the role of (name of the accepted role) at the (the name of the company). I really appreciate you for sending a reference on my behalf.
Importance Of Informing A Reference Beforehand
While adding references to your resume, you must keep in mind that it is essential to inform your reference beforehand to respond properly. After you have selected a reference to add to your resume, you must send a formal letter requesting their permission. In that letter, you must add all the necessary details about the post you are applying for. Also, you must mention about all the relevant skills and abilities you want them to talk about.
Different jobs have different skill requirements, so your reference would have to focus only on the relevant and helpful skills you possess. You must also ask them to talk about the relevant projects you have been a part of previously, which would positively impact the current position you are applying for.
If you do not inform them that they have been added as a reference, they would not know what to say and how to respond to the questions they would be asked. Informing them beforehand would allow them to properly prepare themselves for the call or email they would be receiving. They would be able to properly highlight your skills and talk in your favor. Also, it would increase your chances of being selected for the post you desire.
What Difference Can A Reference Make In Getting You The Job?
While applying for a job, you must remember that sending out your resume to the respective company, firm, organization, or office is mandatory. Your resume has all the necessary details about you that the recruiter would be going through before they decide whether or not they would want to hire you. After going through all the details mentioned in the resume about your skills and achievements, the employer would want to confirm all the data with a reliable individual or your respective reference.
In order to gain the trust of your employer and establish the fact that all the details that you have provided are genuine, you must add a reference. Adding a reference to our resume increases our chances of getting a job as it gives out the message that we are pretty assured of our achievements and abilities. These qualities are highly appreciated by employers and would greatly help you get the job you desire.
Also, we must never forget to take permission before adding somebody as our reference. Adding somebody as a reference would without asking them is a mistake, and it would land you into huge trouble. If the reference is not aware that you have listed them, they might be caught off guard and would be reacting in an undesired way.
Also, if the referred person is entirely unaware of your existence whatsoever, they might even file a lawsuit against you, which would jeopardize your entire career. The best thing you could do is, sending out request letters to the references you have selected for yourself, asking them to be their reference.
It would be best if you shortlisted the names of at least five different individuals that you wish to add as your reference. After sending out letters requesting them to be your reference, it is implausible that all of them comply with your request. Even if they decline to be your reference, you must behave in a courteous manner, keeping in mind that they might be having a busy schedule or are presently going through some emergency. After being successfully selected for the desired post, you must inform them about it and thank them heartily for their favour.
Conclusion on Using Someone As a Reference
Adding references can do wonders to your job profile and application, as they can advocate for you and tell the recruiter how great are you at what you do. But, on the contrary, if you ever decide to send in the resume with references without informing them, then this could be a severe hazard for you and your career.
Hence, it is always best to ask for the individual’s permission before adding their name to your CV so that their word can get you the job of your dreams.