Staffing Resources


Who Shouldn’t You Use as a Reference on Your Resume?

February 7th, 2018

Applying for a job is a very detailed and meticulous process. One mistake can ruin your chances despite you being the perfect fit for a position. Sometimes it can be an obvious typo that makes you appear careless or maybe it’s a missed attachment you’ll never have the chance to submit.


One major misstep is that many overlook is the references section. Perhaps you have a list that is regularly updated with current and relevant contacts, or on the other end perhaps you panic and list the first three people you can remember. While there are certainly better choices than others, here are four examples of contacts you should never include.


  1. They Fired You

Chances are if they didn’t want you for their company, they won’t recommend you for someone else. Even if you feel you have a decent relationship post-dismissal, the job of a reference is to describe how you are as an employee as well as what you’re like personally. It’s likely their reason for firing you won’t end in a glowing review for your next potential employer.


  1. They’re Just Your Friends

It’s likely all of our friends will say nice things about us to employers who call, but are ‘nice things’ the same as references to your work? A friend can be a good choice if you’ve actually worked on real projects together and they can attest to your work professionally, but someone who’s just vouching for character may be readily dismissed.


  1. They Don’t Know They’re a Reference

It’s easy to assume someone will be your reference, but making the ask is crucial. First, it gives this person the right to say “no.” Maybe they don’t think as highly of you as you believe, and this saves both of you from a detrimental review. Second, it prepares them for a call. If a company or recruiter calls and this person has no idea you listed them or even what you’re doing these days, it can make you look as if you didn’t put the proper work into the application.


  1. They’re Related to You

Sure, your mom would probably say you’re the best and most talented candidate, but that’s not the unbiased opinion whoever is hiring needs to make an informed decision. You want people who can speak to your abilities, but they must have an actual knowledge of what you do beyond what you tell them and think of you objectively, instead of as their cherished family member.


Trust Staffing Resources to Help You

Don’t make the mistake of listing someone who will hurt your chances instead of helping you. Staffing Resources can make sure you have the right information in place to match you to the best companies in Atlanta. We’re locally owned and operated, with professional relationships we’ve cultivated with leading employers. Contact us to find out how we care about our candidates today.

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