In times gone by, “references to be provided upon request” squatted at the end of a resume like an ugly little troll. In even earlier days, the list of references was its last page. I still have a “third page”, but I never send it until it is needed. As we have mentioned before, unless the woo in a resume is very strong, a recruiter will not look past the fold. That means the list of references–page 3– will go unnoticed.
Recruiters and HR hardly spend 15 seconds eyeballing resumes these days–those resumes served up to them cherry picked from key word searches. A resume that is not properly SEO-ed (search engine optimized) with key words is invisible to the search engines. A resume that does not rise in the key word search will simply not be picked up.
If a search spits out 50 resumes that “make the cut” by key word, that number is shaken down through closer examination until 5 candidates’ resumes remain. This is the round where “packaging”–stand-out individuals and presentation really matters. Again, references do not enter into the discussion. Where does the “third page” enter, then?At the interviews. References and a few more rounds of interviews are used to winnow the number to the final two.
Along with a lot of reading, job seekers attend a lot of seminars. As I listened to panel after panel of HR professionals and recruiters I came to this conclusion:
no ring; no thing.
I forget about showing references until I am sure the intentions are serious. The rejected need not waste resources of time and energy when there is no evidence of a serious woo to win. Unless I am just wild about a company the chase ends when I get the auto responder that says, “we will keep your resume on file for….” That is the signal to move on.