In our references section we will aim to help you understand how the process works, and the correct way to complete the references for your CV. Some company’s will ultimately decide whether or not to hire a candidate based on the feedback they receive from past employers. Underestimating the importance of who you choose for a reference could be a huge mistake.

Completing the references section for your CV can be a far more detailed process than you might think – and for very good reason. A common mistake a job seeker makes is to assume that any of their previous managers will be a good choice as a reference, with little thought to what might happen when a potential future employer contacts them. This is a risky strategy, and one which could backfire!

Always choose a manager who you worked closely with in the past, and who knows you well enough to provide an accurate reference. A generic reference could raise a red flag to the employer, so choose your references wisely.

Don’t aim too high up the ladder to try and impress a future employer. The CEO of the company might look great as a reference on your CV, but if they don’t know who you are and had little to no interaction with you, the employer may even decide not to provide a reference. A previous employer can decide whether or not they want to choose a reference, and also how much information they want to give.

A great way to get a reference on board is to contact them personally and ask them if they are happy to provide one. You can also let them know what type of role you are now applying for and give an indication of the employers that might contact them. If you are able to get approval from a previous employer you are more likely to get a fair and accurate reference – rather than a generic one or none at all.