As you rev up your job search, you should also line up a variety of very good references to give employers. But before you put your cousin Bobby on the list, you should consider the types of references you should never use. Let’s take a look:
Even if you worked for the family business for years, an employer simply won’t believe that your family can give an impartial reference. If you’ve been involved in a family business and want to use it as a reference, simply talk about it in your interview and chose another employer as a reference in the pre-interview stage of your job search.
Once again, while your friends may know you quite well, it’s likely that they can’t give a good job reference because they haven’t worked with you. If they have worked with you and you want to use them as a reference, remind them that they should focus on discussing your qualities as an employee only NOT your qualities as a friend.
When choosing references, one of the easiest mistakes you can make is choosing people who have worked at the same company as you but did not directly work with you. Instead of choosing random workplace acquaintances as your references, choose people who can speak about a specific project you worked on or who can at least talk about your work ethic.
Don’t choose supervisors who won’t remember you and who will be surprised to receive a call. Before using someone as a job reference get their permission and give them gentle reminders throughout your job search that they may receive calls from employers.
Who you put on your reference list is critical if you want to be considered for a job.