By: Claire Wilson. Last Updated: April 2022

candidate writing cv

As soon as you start your job hunt you’ll need to consider who you can use as references.

You’ll typically need 2 people, at least one should be a previous employer (and usually you’ll need to include your last employer).

Former employers are legally obligated to give basic reference details for their employees but if you’re using someone who wasn’t a former employer, you should check ahead of time that they are willing to be a reference for you.

Then you have to decide if/how you’re presenting this information on your CV…

If you choose to include it, the references section should be a brief section on your CV.

There are 2 main ways you should consider laying this out…

The first is including a regular sized header with the text Available on Request written underneath it


Available on request.

This is perfectly acceptable, and is used by the majority of candidates.

The second, is to actually give your reference details. If you’re doing this you should include the person’s name, their position and company, who they are to you, and their contact information. This is a much more traditional method and is being used less and less.


A.N. Other
Supervisor – Company X
01234 567890

Ms Ref Erence
Team Leader – Company Y
09876 543 210

If doing this, you should be aware that your references could then be contacted at any point. This might be particularly tricky if you’re listing a current employer as a reference (which would be standard). So only choose this option is you’re 100% happy that they could receive a call about your application from that point onwards.

To give you one final thing to think about, we have also seen it stated that this section is a “dying” element of a CV.

An employer will require references to be checked, and everyone knows that. It’s a case of when, not if.

Since most candidates choose option one, and employers don’t expect to see reference details on a CV now, it could be argued that the whole section is just taking up space it doesn’t need to.

If you’re really struggling to bring your CV into 2 pages, this might be something worth considering.

About the Author

Image with Claire Wilison from GetReskilled Team

Claire Wilson

Content Marketing and Career Coaching

Claire runs GetReskilled’s Advanced Career Coaching Programme – our specially devised job hunting course that helps our trainees take that final step into employment by leading them through the job hunting process. She is extremely enthusiastic about helping people reach their final goal of employment in their new career path.

Claire has a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biology from Edinburgh University and spent 7 years working in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.