Should I Include References in my Cover Letter?

Posted in Career Blog

When it comes to creating a cover letter that is efficient at introducing your skills, education, and why you are the best match for a job position or company, a lot of questions can come up. You, as an applicant, want to make sure that each aspect of the cover letter is addressed because if one is omitted or approached in the incorrect way; this can be the difference between getting the job and not. One very common question that many applicants have is: should I include references in my cover letter? In this article, we answer this question, and tell you why so you are best prepared for a job winning resume.
So, should you include references in a cover letter? The answer is most often no. The only situation in which you can refer to a professional contact is if someone recommended you for a position. This is the basis for what is called a recommendation cover letter, and actually refers to a person that is a mutual contact between you and the hiring party; and should be put forth in a manner than you might state professional references. This is best kind of reference that you can offer as the hiring party already knows the party that recommended you, and their reputation in their career is vouched for. If you have a mutual contact in regards to a company that you are applying to, than this recommendation should be referred to by full name in the first paragraph of a cover letter.
As far as professional references that are more standard to the topic, a person should never include this information in their initial cover letter address. Why? Basically, there are two reasons why you shouldn’t. First, the reviewing of professional references are usually the second or third step in the hiring process, and should not function as your part of your skills and qualifications. To the employer, it looks unprofessional, as well as presumptuous that they might consider you at the second or third narrowing down of their applicants in the hiring process. Second, the names and personal contact information of your professional references should not be given away so freely-meaning for jobs that you might not even being considered for-it is a question of privacy and security for those references. They are doing you a professional service by vouching for your career abilities and experience, and the least you can do is offer their information, only when requested-and not with every cover letter you send out.

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