Are Your References Selling You Short?
By Paula Santonocito
“I’d rather not comment—you can take that however you want.”
Comments regarding the reason for the candidate leaving the company:
“I fired him! He and his buddy had some illegal things going.”
“It was a rather delicate and awkward situation. You should call her other past employers. I made the mistake of not doing that.”
“She was terminated in an investigation.”
Comments regarding a candidate selecting a person to be a professional reference:
“Are you certain he gave you my name?”
“I let him go and that’s all I care to say.”
“I’m surprised she even listed us on her work history.”
And the firm shares a few general comments, noting, “Here are some professional references that make one simply wonder how a candidate would ever consider this person for a reference”:
“No comment, he could not do anything correctly in the position he held with us.”
“Let’s save everyone some time. Basically, you could rank him inadequate in all areas.”
“Inadequate would be a positive word for him!”
Word to the Wise
Remember the saying “loose lips sink ships”? Well, when it comes to references, loose lips can also sink your chances of getting a job.
The message from the experts is, think carefully about the companies and individuals you list as references—and when in doubt, leave them out…or you may find yourself out of the running for the job you seek.
More SMW Career Advice