We spend a lot of time thinking about who to contact as a reference, who would give the best impression if a potential employer calls them. But we don’t spend as much time focusing on who not to use. And a cautionary tale is sometimes the best lesson.
Here’s who not to use as a reference when applying for a job:
The problem with using family members as a reference on job applications is simple: they can’t give an objective view of you as an employee. And recruiters and hiring managers know that, so they won’t give your application a second glance. Leave your family members off the reference list because it’s the quickest way to get your application thrown in the trash.
Friends, roommates, etc.
Friends, roommates, or other close acquaintances will also have some implicit bias, so they’re not good candidates for references either. Even if a friend has an impressive title related to the job you’re applying for, it’s best to reconsider.
Someone who fired you.
Job applicants list former supervisors who fired them more often than you think. Obviously, that’s not the best choice. Even if you had a great relationship with your former boss, it’s not worth the risk of putting them down as a reference. Your firing will likely come up, and you don’t want to have that discussion out there if you can avoid it.
Someone who hasn’t worked in more than a decade.
Someone who hasn’t been in your career field, or worked at all, in a decade or more probably isn’t the best candidate to list as a reference. For one thing, the individual’s industry knowledge might be a bit outdated. Furthermore, they can’t speak very well to your personal value or achievements on the job. It’s far better to find someone who currently works, and it’s an added bonus if they work in a similar field to yours.
Someone you don’t know well.
As a general rule, you’ll want to list references that you know well. There’s no telling how a vague acquaintance might characterize you. Hiring managers or interviewers can typically tell when a reference doesn’t really know the person they’re talking about.
Are you ready to put your references to good use and find your dream job? We can help. Contact High Profile staffing online or call 972-991-7900. And don’t forget to visit our Job Portal to view available openings.