References available upon request

send cv

References available upon request

Reference: Seth Godin; abintegro

10 May 2018


There has long been confusion and controversy over whether to include references or not on your resume or CV. First we were expected to include our references’ names along with their postal address(!), then we were to leave them out altogether and in their place leave the boiler plate “references available upon request”.

However, “references available upon request” has rapidly become an archaic term, and has made many “top ten resume mistakes” lists. So what to do?

Here is a summary of your options:

1. Leave any reference to references out entirely. Employers know they can ask for references; you don’t need to tell them.

2. Include a separate sheet, listing all your references, which you can either send along with your CV/resume or wait until you are asked to provide them.

3. There’s nothing wrong with including the details of a few great references. A nice halfway house is to include the position and company of your reference, particularly if they are quite senior in their organisation. It demonstrates you have people to back up what you say without giving away unnecessary details at this early stage of your application.

4. In your references section, mention your LinkedIn page or any other public pages that include good recommendations.

5. Contact the hiring manager and ask them how they would like you to present your references.

If you Google whether to include references or not you’ll get a very mixed bag of responses, but one thing seems certain: do not to include the phrase “references available upon request”.

Including a photo on your CV/resume: for and against

Reference: People to People; Forbes

09 May 2018


If you’re living in an Anglophone country, you’ve most likely been told that including a photo on your CV or resume is a definite no-no.

However, like most things, it’s not always as black and white as all that. For one thing, the job market is now far more globalised than it once was, and workplaces are more multicultural. Old traditions die hard, however, and why would you do something that could negatively affect your chances of being hired?

There are arguments on both sides; here we outline the cases for and against:


1. It will get you noticed
If nothing else, including a photo on your CV is a way to stand out from the crowd. It gives a glimpse into your personality, and research shows that CVs or resumes with photos receive more attention from prospective employers.

2. We’re living in a visual age
Times change, and images are fast replacing the written word as the storytelling medium of choice. Take the increasingly ubiquitous Instagram gradually overtaking the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other, wordier social media platforms in terms of popularity. Even the go-to job-seeking site, LinkedIn, strongly encourages every profile page to carry the member’s photo.

3. Choosing your own photo puts you in control
With today’s every increasing digital footprints it’s naïve to think that your prospective employer won’t be able to locate your face on one of the various online platforms where you feature. By putting your picture on your CV you can at least control the recruiter’s initial perception of you.


1. It makes it easier for employers to discriminate
While there are strict rules that prevent employers from discriminating against candidates based on factors such as age and ethnicity, they aren’t always easy to enforce. Chances are the organisation you’re applying to will do things by the book, but why would you risk it?

2. It’s an unnecessary distraction
A photo takes up a lot of valuable space on what is usually a fairly short, two-page document. More to the point, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a CV before making an initial judgement – surely you’d prefer this time was spent evaluating your skills and experience rather than your appearance?

Ultimately, whether or not you include a photo or resume on your CV comes down to personal choice. It’s certainly not the heinous crime some make it out to be, and it could even give you an edge over the competition in the right circumstances. On the other hand, this may be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – so if in doubt you may be best off sticking with the tried and tested.


References available upon request

10 May 2018


The DOs and DON’Ts of writing a freelance CV

05 Apr 2018


6 digital skills you can teach yourself

29 Mar 2018

skillsjob huntCV

Is it ever ok to exaggerate on your CV?

28 Mar 2018


The 4 steps to feeling competent in your new role

Reference: SHIFT eLearning; Mind Tools

10 May 2018

new role

The first few weeks or months in a new role are very much a learning curve, which, as is usually the case with any learning experience, will send you through a string of different emotions: you may start out feeling rather anxious, then excited, quickly followed by feeling overwhelmed and finally comfortable.

Sound familiar? That’s because when it comes to learning a new skill and building our competence, we go through what seems to be a universal emotional experience. This process is set out in the so-called ‘Conscious Competence Ladder’: a model developed in the 1970s that identifies four key levels that we move through when learning: #1 Unconsciously Incompetent #2 Consciously Incompetent #3 Consciously Competent and #4 Unconsciously Competent.

The model looks at both your skill level and your awareness of your skill level. It starts with the status quo: Unconsciously Incompetent. At this level, you lack knowledge in a specific area and you’re unaware of it. Level 2: Consciously Incompetent is where you realise you are lacking that knowledge and start developing it. This is where you really have to put in the work and may start feeling overwhelmed. When you finally push through it though, you will reach level 3: Consciously Competent. You now have acquired the knowledge you need and are aware that you have. However, you’re still learning and won’t use your skills effortlessly until you reach level 4: Unconsciously Competent.

Being aware of how you learn and understanding which level of learning you are at can be helpful in a number of ways. For one, it can help you stay motivated throughout the learning process. So for example, recognising that you’re in the Consciously Incompetent phase and that you’ll soon see your hard work pay off can help pull you through if you’re starting to feel disheartened.

It can also help you manage expectations, both of your own success and that of others; understanding which level you (or someone you work with) are on will stop you from expecting and pushing for too much too soon.

Starting a new role may not be without its challenges but it’s worth remembering that you’re expected to learn and develop at this stage, and while that overwhelming feeling may not feel very good at the time, it’s a sign that you’ve recognised what you need to work on and are therefore well on your way to owning your new job.

And don’t forget that you’re likely to climb the Conscious Competence Ladder again and again throughout your career and personal life. Embrace it and see it for what it is: a sign that you’re moving forward and becoming a more knowledgeable, experienced and competent person.

The DOs and DON’Ts of starting a new job

Reference: LinkedIn; Cosmopolitan; Forbes; Business Insider

22 Jun 2017

new rolein employment

So you’ve happily secured a new job and have victoriously made it through the first day. While you might breathe a sigh of relief at this stage, you’re mistaken if you think it’s all done and dusted.

Starting a new job doesn’t just mean making it through the first day, week, or even month; it’s about successfully integrating into the new company and becoming comfortable in your new role.

As the newbie, you’ll continually be learning about the job, how the company is run, and the part you play within your team. To ensure your integration into the business goes smoothly, here are some of the top DOs and DON’Ts to be aware of.


Know your team
Having the support of the people you work with will help you grasp the ins and outs of your role, saving you hours of trial and error. Take advantage of opportunities to socialise and build relationships.

Ask for direction
When it comes to doing the job well, there’s no substitute for clear, straightforward direction. Ask your boss to define what success looks like in your role and don’t be afraid to keep demanding feedback.

Stay curious
It may be all you can do to get to grips with the job in front of you; however, the quicker you understand your wider organisation, its culture and its clients, the quicker you’ll really add value.


Stop trying to impress
Having gotten the job, this is no time to rest on your laurels. With a whole team or office to impress the scrutiny is only likely to get more intense, so make sure to keep delivering your ‘A’ game.

Forget the ‘why’
Doing everything that’s asked of you may seem challenging enough for now, but try and understand the ‘why’ behind tasks as well as the ‘how’. Knowing the end purpose of the service you’re providing will help you to perform it better.

Get ahead of yourself
It takes time to build respect and credibility in any role; what may seem a great new way of doing things could be perceived as criticism or even arrogance. Wait a while before challenging the status quo.

While transitioning to a new role can be daunting, it’s worth remembering everybody was in the same boat at some point in their lives. Trust in managers and colleagues and you’ll generally find people are only too willing to help and make life easier for you in the early stages.


Leave us a comment