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CV Advice and Tips

Read our detailed advice articles about constructing a CV and how to maximise your potential.

Getting a Reference for Your CV

11787168_mIf you are applying for jobs you will need a reference for your CV template.

What is a Reference?

A reference is someone who can support your CV and cover letter by giving quotes or details about you in a professional capacity. They are usually someone you have worked with, like a colleague or manager, and can comment on what you are like in the workplace and verify your working dates.

Why Do You Need a Reference?

References are essential if you are applying for a job because it allows your prospective employer to check your skills and work experience. By using a reference you can support your claims as your prospective employer can call your reference and ask them questions based on your professional background. References can enhance your job application, support your CV and can boost confidence in your prospective employer.

What Should I Ask a Reference?

Your reference needs to be able to support your job application. Therefore you should ask them to comment on your punctuality, work ethic and skills. Some references are happy to write this down for you to keep however most references will give you their contact details and will wait to be contacted by an employer.

How Do You Get a Reference?

Although you can have references that are personal i.e. a friend, you should always try and use professional references. Employers will be looking to speak to someone who can verify what you tell them including your work experience and skills and the best person to do this is someone who has known you in a professional capacity. You should approach professional contacts – like colleagues, HR contacts or Managers. Recent references are a good idea so consider contacting someone from your last job. You can either email your contact and explain that you would like them to be a reference or you can call them directly. You need to ask their permission to list them as a reference as there is a strong chance they will be contacted if you apply for a job. It’s up to you whether you list your references on your CV or not – but most people do not include references on a job application until they are asked for them. If you want to keep your references private until you know you have got a job interview simply write ‘references available on request’ on your CV.