Research findings show that employers check future employees’ references for four main reasons:
- To get information about candidates that they can’t get in any other way.
- To confirm information provided by candidates.
- To predict candidates’ future job performance.
- To disqualify candidates from consideration.
Research findings also show that over 95% of employers always check references. Thus, be sure your references:
1. Will verify any info you have given to future employers.
2. Understand the job you have applied for well enough to speak favorably to your fit. Send them a bullet point executive summary of the job listing, plus the full job listing. Give them time to read the info. Then call them to talk about the job, and your fit, before they take the reference call.
3. Won’t share info that will disqualify you. Don’t offer people who have negative opinions about you. However, if your future employer insists on talking to someone like that, know that employers don’t like to give bad references. In fact, they have been found to have a leniency bias in favor of former employees.
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Updated June 2017
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