How to put your references to good use on your CV
If you’ve got a glowing letter of reference from your last boss, including a quote from it on your CV is a great way to enhance your professional credibility. After all, it’s not you shouting about your accomplishments or skills, but a more objective third-party, whose opinion will give your application extra weight.
If you don’t have much relevant experience, put the quote (one or two sentences maximum) under your personal profile. Be sure to include quotation marks and the name and title of the person. Use bold type in a smaller font to make the quote stand out.
But if you’ve got a few years of experience, you can add select quotes to your career history or achievements section.
This type of endorsement also works well for freelancers or consultants bidding to work on new projects. Including a quote from a happy client may well be the decisive factor in awarding work.
Tips for choosing quotes from references
– Choose a line or two from a reference that highlight your personal qualities, accomplishments, or specific skills. Your aim is to showcase aspects from your previous experience which will sell your ability to do the job you’re applying for.
– Don’t go overboard with quotes. Even just one can be effective in making key information stand out. Only add a quote if it adds strength to your application or gives a concrete example of a skill or attribute that you want to highlight.
– Consider endorsements from people other than your boss. Quotes from colleagues, clients, university or course tutors (if you’re a recent grad) can all be effective.
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