Why you shouldn't list your referees on your resume

Success written in the sand

We've always been told to include referees in resumes. But can it actually be a bad career move?

Providing references in your application is a readily accepted part of the job-hunting process in the mining industry. So, why might it not be in your best interest to include referees on your CV?

Before including a list of referees on your resume, consider these three factors.

You might not get to speak for yourself

Although it isn’t the accepted norm, some companies do call for references very early on in the recruitment process. This survey showed 16 per cent of recruiters will call references before they even call the applicant for an interview.

Instead, you can control how often your referees are contacted by only providing their details when there is a high probability you are the preferred applicant. (Your referees will be grateful for this, too.)

Will your referee be prepared?

Some HR departments are happy with a quick and casual conversation, whereas others require a formal 30-minute in-depth discussion that can be quite challenging for the referee. Once you attend an interview, you will get a better sense of what type of organisation you’re dealing with.

Will the referee feedback be relevant?

You might have worked well with them but can they comment in detail about your role, responsibilities, specific achievements, KPIs, strengths and weaknesses, communication style, and your ability to troubleshoot and manage responsibility? Some recruiters seek explicit examples, too.

RELATED: How to choose the right referee

4 things to remember before providing referees

When the application process is underway and the recruiter has asked for your referees, that’s the time to provide them. Here are a few things to remember before you select referees.

  • Your referee can provide more relevant information to the recruiter if they have an awareness of the specific role you’ve applied for and the responsibilities involved. They can then relate their knowledge of your capabilities, skills, experience and qualifications to the new position

  • Just as you’d tailor an application to suit a particular job, tailor your referee list to suit the role. Take your time to ensure the referees you provide are ones who can best comment on your suitability for this particular role

  • You can make sure your referees are available and happy to contribute. This is even more important if it has been several years since you’ve seen them or they’ve changed their contact details. Out-of-date details are unprofessional and waste the recruiter’s time

  • Let your referee know the name and number of the recruiter who will be calling them. They can save it in their phone and not be taken off guard when the call comes.

RELATED: 6 myths about resumes that people still believe

One last point about resumes and referees

What if you find yourself in the position where a recruiter wants to present you on a short list and wants to do reference checks first? This can sometimes happen with higher-level engineering, financial and geology jobs.

In this instance, it is acceptable to explain that you can provide a referee right away for a generic reference and you have other referees for specific feedback relevant to the role.

The mining industry in Australia is gradually changing, so many recruiters will be understanding of your position.

For advice in updating your resume, get in touch with MPi’s Resume and LinkedIn Services today.