It's not a secret anymore!
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes 'Referees available on request' Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark " Watch " New topic

'Referees available on request'

David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Huh? Is there something I'm missing?
I'm wading through paperwork trying to find a new developer, and almost half have this in their referees section. From my side it sounds like too much and puts me off, particularly since it is usually the last section perused.

Can someone explain the reasoning behind this that I am not understanding please?
Akhshay Ray

Joined: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 11
Normally people do not want to give out their referrals' name with resume. Only when they have been selected on the first round based on their technical abilities, you would ask them for providing referrals. Thats the reason of that.
Henry Wong

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 20535

First, I am assuming it is "references available on requests". Referees are for sporting events...

Seriously, I have a long list of references that I can call upon if someone wants a reference, but I always do it on a case by case basis. Meaning if someone ask for a reference, I ask for permission, and then I forward the reference.

If someone else ask, I ask for permission again. It just doesn't feel right asking someone to be a reference, and have them agree to do it indefinitely. You are calling in a favor when someone is your reference.


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
I second Henrys opinion. Any contact to a reference of mine should be preceded by me giving them a heads-up (plus me telling them what the company likely wants to hear, but that's a different subject ).
stephen gates
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 30, 2007
Posts: 69
I don't even like putting my resume on half the job boards anymore. There are far too many spam emails and spam phone calls. Some are legit recruiters and human resource personel, but half have obviously never even looked at my resume.

So in my experience, why would I put my references on my resume or give them up front. Certain recruiters have submitted my job board profile and resume to jobs and then contacted me afterwards. I don't like that. Most people wouldn't.

Many people are contacted by recruiters, consulting agencies, and human resource personel. I have references and I've been a refernce in the past. My references nor I want to be contacted 5 times in a week. Most people work and are busy. And most people don't want random calls from recruiters who really have no business calling them.

If a job is getting down to the final few candidates, then a reference is something you can look at. But if your not even at the interviewing stages yet, contacting references is unprofessional at that point, at least to me.

I know I get contacted daily by recruiters, agencies, and so on through email and phone calls. Some are about specific jobs, other's are a general discussion and a plan to find some jobs that might be out there.

That is great but if you put references on your resume and get contacted 1000 times in a few weeks from recruiters, agencies, and Human resource personel there is also a chance your references will soon request they no longer be used as a reference.

I know I don't want my phone rining off the hook asking about a friend, former co-worker, people who worked for me and so on. It's especially bad if it's just at the initial screening.
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: stephen gates ]
Eric Lemaitre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi David,

I'm wading through paperwork trying to find a new developer, and almost half have this in their referees section. From my side it sounds like too much and puts me off, particularly since it is usually the last section perused.
Can someone explain the reasoning behind this that I am not understanding please?

I don't know whether this is common in US, but here is my French point of view:
Most IT consulting companies in France are or behave like body-shoppers, mainly because of specific local employment habits and legal conditions. One of their most common assets is to organize fake interviews where only goal is to obtain direct coordinates of customers' project managers from candidates so as to offer their services. This is not systematic, but really common, especially when no specific mission is foreseen, although of course IT consulting may hire too in prevision of future projects to come, so it is really hard to check.

Anyway as a French I wouldn't ever give my referals to a consulting company because:

_ It is illegal in France to enquire about a former employee in his former companies. The hiring company may anyway test candidate at will and has a 3 to 6 months testing period for evaluating the candidate so as to validate hire, so no good reason to ask anything to his former employers. But of course, in case candidate is involved in some kind of felony, making him a riskful person to hire, employer is free to ask for his public file to justice for potential criminal records.

_ I don't want to bother my past project managers, as I want to keep good relations with them, so I won't ever give their private coordinates to a third party.

_ I don't want to take the risk of getting an interview for nothing (assuming it is a fake one), so if giving my referals is mandatory I refuse the interview.

Best regards.

Free Online Tutorials:
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Don't, never! put your references on your resume!

Don't give your references to a recruiter unless you are desperate and the job market is bad! It is Not now!!!

Only give your references to the employer after the first or telephone interview, that means they have interest on you.

Recruiters bothered me so much because some body put my name as his/her reference. The recruiter was trying to recruit me instead of getting reference for the person! They use references major for that purpose.

A recent story of mine:

After one telephone interview, recruiter told me the client needed some references. I forgot my own rules, and gave my references to the recruiter. Ah ah, the troubles started!!! They probably did not give my references to the client, but bothered my references a lot and did something else pretty bad.

In this situation, I should have asked the client's email, and sent to the him/her directly!
[ June 08, 2007: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Ack, thanks for the story.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 63866

I would never disrespect the privacy of my references by giving out their information prior to the point where a company is deciding to make an offer based upon all other criteria.

And recruiters never get this information. All they want it for is to badger them by mining for more prospects.

[Asking smart questions] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968

I just think it's bad form to put "References available upon request" on the resume. Just don't list any. I think it looks better that way.

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: 'Referees available on request'
It's not a secret anymore!