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New Survey Reveals Three in 10 Employers Caught Fake References

If you’re feeling a bit bold and considering putting down a fake reference on a job application, we have one two words of advice: Think again.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, almost three out of 10 employers caught a fake reference on a job application! 

As for some other highlights, approximately 62 percent of employers indicated when they contacted a reference, the reference didn’t exactly have positive things to say about the candidate. Employers weigh this information differently but according to the survey, 69 percent indicated they changed their minds about a candidate after getting input from a reference.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, recommends something that candidates are clearly missing. Ensure references will speak highly of you!

“Before choosing someone, ask yourself ‘Did this person understand my full scope of responsibilities? Can he or she vouch for my skills, accomplishments and work ethic?’ You also want to make sure that you ask your former colleagues if you can list them as a reference. If someone is unwilling, it helps you to avoid a potentially awkward or damaging interaction with an employer of interest.”

It makes sense to give your reference a heads up. Per the survey, 15 percent of employees reported they listed a reference without telling him or her about it. This is particularly important they don’t get caught off guard, mainly because 80 percent of employers indicated they do indeed contact references for potential employees.

It varies by employer as to when references get contacted but 16 percent indicated they’ll actually reach out to references before the candidate’s job interview.

The study was conducted from mid-August through early September and encompassed nearly 2,500 hiring managers and HR professionals and almost 4,000 employees from various industries.

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