Referees vs. References

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Smurfan, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Smurfan

    Smurfan Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish
    Hi!
    What is the difference between referees and references when it comes to job applications? Should you give the recruiter your references or your referees?
    Thanks:)
     
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Your reference was written by your referee.
    The reference is usually a document.
    Your referee is a person.

    Hang on ... there's something odd about that ... back in a minute or two.

    I thought so.
    Summarised nicely by the OED definition for reference:
    8a. The action or an act of referring one person to another for information or testimonial; a person to whom one is or may be referred for this purpose;

    I would use whatever terminogy suits the recruiter :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  3. Smurfan

    Smurfan Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish
    Hm so if I am supposed to give names and phone numbers of people the recruiter could call and ask questions about me I should call them "referees" since they are actually persons?
     
  4. ..JustBe.. Junior Member

    New York-- USA
    American English
    A referee is someone who acts as a reference.

    I personally, would not call someone a referee in this instance because the word usually implies some type of judging. A referee is more commonly used in sports or law.
    ex: The referee decided that the play was legal. (sports)
    The referee gave their professional opinion of the defendants mental health. (law)

    Job applications usually have a sections that simply says "References" and like you said has lines for names and phone numbers. This is so they can call past employers, who will than give them a recommendation on why they should or should not hire you.

    When talking about the numbers and names you would just call them your references.
    "Here is my list of references." would be more commonly said than "These are my referees."

    The written numbers would be the reference... and the physical person would be the referee.
     
  5. Smurfan

    Smurfan Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish
    Ok I see, thanks :)!
     
  6. Esca Senior Member

    Wow... I've been getting references for a few years now, and I've never heard "referee" to mean "person who gives a reference." I've only ever heard it in sports. I would call a "person who gives a reference" just simply, a "reference."
     
  7. sunny60 New Member

    english
    You are correct in reference to the definition of the terms. The question should be when do I use the term referee vs reference. As a hiring manager, I will state in the USA the term "reference" is used for hiring purposes. Human Resources,the hiring manager/supervisor we ask for two to three references and will either call , email or request a written document speaking to our character and work ethics. In most other parts of the world Canada, UK, Europe, Central/South America they will ask for you to list two to three "referees" which is the same as a reference in the states. Hope it helps
     
  8. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Thank and welcome, Sunny! :)

    Yes, the WR Dictionary confirms that this use of referee is BrE:
     
  9. QingYanJuan New Member

    汉语——英语
    Hi!
    What is the difference between referees and references when it comes to job applications? Should you give the recruiter your references or your referees?
     
  10. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    ​Mod note: QingYanJuan's thread has been merged with an earlier thread on the same question. Please read the earlier posts.
     

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