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If you are job hunting and have your list of references, you might want to read through the article “Nearly 1 in 3 Job Hunters Use Fake References, Survey Finds.” Susan Riker cites a CareerBuilder study that found employers actually pay attention to what your references say, and a whopping 69% of employers surveyed said they changed their minds about a candidate after speaking with a reference.

What does this mean? First, don’t make up a reference. If an employer finds out your reference is a fake, you are automatically out of the running. Second, choose your references wisely. If someone is reluctant to be a reference, go on to someone else, someone who can be an honest cheerleader about your knowledge and abilities. Finally, ask the people you choose as references if they agree and, if so, let them know when you are applying and where, so they are prepared if they get a call. It doesn’t hurt to share your resume and maybe the cover letter with them, as well, since those documents can spark other memories of your job performance.

Read Riker’s article here.

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