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I have seen that some post-doc ads (in the US) do not explicitly ask for contact details of references. This is more or less common on LinkedIn, even for academic post-docs.

Is it ok to not provide those contact details initially, and just send a cover letter with the standard "please do not hesitate to contact me for additional information"? Or will it harm the application?

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    By "offers", do you mean job ads? I'm puzzled by the reference to LinkedIn, since I've never heard of academic postdoc positions being advertised there. It might help to specify which field you are in (since advice from someone in a field that works differently could be counterproductive). – Anonymous Mathematician Oct 21 '16 at 23:21
  • Yes, job ads. There are many "Postdoctoral Research Fellow" and similar on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc. [I've edited the original question to state 'ads'.] – Elabore Oct 21 '16 at 23:39
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If they do not request references, you do not need to provide them. In that case, they may still ask for your references later if they need them (for example, if you are selected for an interview).

It is always better to mention the names of people who can provide references in your CV. But I assume that you do not have good references since you are asking that question. If you have some good references from top researchers in your field, it is better to mention them in your CV. It would make your CV look better perhaps. If you do not have good references, and do not want to mention them, then it is ok. But expect that they may ask for your references later.

  • +1, good answer. You're partly correct: since I'm switching fields (neuroscience to genomics), I don't know many people in the new area. – Elabore Oct 22 '16 at 19:17

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