There was a time when including references with a resume was standard practice. The assumption being that recruiters and other hiring professionals would be more inclined to grant an interview if references were provided up front. That is simply not a wise job search strategy any more.
There are several reasons why you should not include references with your resume.
1. References can be used against you. Employers receive hundreds of resumes and are therefore in the business of screening you out to narrow down their choices. You have no way of controlling who they will call and when. Your references could be caught off guard and not in the best position to discuss your qualifications since they have no idea what job you are applying for.
2. They don’t carry any weight. Employers expect to receive a positive response from references you provide and for that reason they give them very little consideration. Hiring managers would prefer, instead, to talk to individuals who may have worked with you and observed your performance but who have not been selected to be a reference.
3. You lose credibility. If a recruiter or hiring manager reaches out to your references prematurely or without permission you risk the chance of barraging them with an onslaught of calls. You could easily lose credibility with those who have held you in high esteem. Instead you want to guard your references’ time and contact information as if it were your own and provide them only when asked.
4. You open up a can of worms. Crafty recruiters care less about the references you provide and will use them to obtain the names of others who know and have worked with you. These people may not provide such ‘glowing’ recommendations.
If you feel the need to address the subject of references simply include a statement in your cover letter (not resume) that you will provide ‘references upon request’. In other words don’t waste valuable real estate on your resume for references! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.