Testimonials on a CV?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 - CV Help, CV Writing, Job Application, recruitment

Testimonials on a CV?

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Jennifer Scott asks: Do testimonials on a CV/resume appeal to you? As a recruiter of 16+ years, I have my own opinions on this. I have spoken with resume writers who disagree… so I’m turning to you, the hiring decision maker, for your opinion. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that the resumes in question are all from qualified candidates. Technically, they could all “do the job”, at least from what you can see on paper. Do you LIKE to see testimonials on resumes? Or, do you find them distracting? Are they beneficial? harmful? benign? Do they help candidates stand out from the crowd in “good” way? What are your thoughts? And, thanks in advance for your time.

In answer:
As a recruiter looking at the CV/resume of a job applicant, love them: that’s another few people for my database, after a quick couple of phone calls! Oh, and I suppose I ought to review the applicants suitability for the job….

As a CV Writer, hate them: see above answer, plus it tales away space from actually communicating your suitability for that job.

This whole testimonials/references in CV/resume question seems to be continually appearing and being asked in different forms. I conclude at present its being driven by the online generation, who seem to want to include their Social Networking comments from their mates as references.

What ever the driver, any references are wholly to be kept to yourself until you have an offer stating “conditional, subject to references.”

Good Luck!



Thank you for a very well thought out response! As a recruiter, I also love the leads! As a hiring manager, I do not see the value in them. I have friends who are “resume writers” who have never actually been hiring managers (that’s another topic all together!)… and they seem to think these testimonials are the best thing ever! I’m trying to show a different view.

Thanks again for your input!!

Jennifer Scott


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