Should you list your references on a resume? It’s a common question that has yielded different answers over the years. Let’s put an end to the speculation and answer it today.

Should You List Your References on a Resume?

As a savvy job seeker, you know your resume needs to stand out from the crowd, so you’ve pulled out all the stops. You want to do everything in your power to show the hiring manager you’re the best possible candidate, so you’re wondering if should list your references on a resume. While your ambition is in the right place, under no circumstances is this approach a good idea.

Your references have generously offered to stand behind you and build you up to potential employers, so don’t burn bridges by taking advantage of them. Learn why it’s always a bad idea to include reference information on your resume.

3 Reasons Not to List References on Your Resume

It’s an invasion of your references’ privacy

You’re a motivated job seeker who applies to new opportunities almost every day. Additionally, your resume is posted on every major job board to increase your chances of getting noticed. Putting yourself out there is great, but don’t expose your references’ contact information along the way. They’ll be less than impressed if they realize you’ve inadvertently shared their name, phone number and email address with a slew of recruiters, hiring managers and anyone else with access to certain resume databases.

You won’t have the chance to prepare your references

It’s an honor to have someone you respect agree to be your reference, so treat them with respect. No one wants to be caught off-guard with unexpected phone calls from hiring managers peppering them with questions about you. However, if you’re including reference information on your resume, you may have no idea when a company will contact them. Not only will this irritate your references, it will also hinder your chances of getting the job, because they won’t be prepared to speak on your behalf.

It’s a given you’ll provide references if asked

Providing a list of references is standard procedure during the hiring process, so recruiters are well aware you’ll comply if you want the job. There’s no need to list your references, state “references available upon request” or mention the word reference at all. Completely bypassing the reference topic on your resume won’t make it seem like you don’t have anyone to speak on your behalf — it simply leaves more room on the page to sell yourself to the reader.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “should you list your references on a resume?” get out there and find your next job!