- America’s Most Overrated Jobs
- Walmart’s New Employee Dress Code Sparks Debate
- The Restless Project: Will I Have to Live With a Roommate Forever?
- 5 Reasons to Take a Company Buyout (And Why You Might Think Twice)
- The 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in the US
- Are You an Employee or a Contractor? (In Other Words, Is Your Boss Ripping You Off?)
- Marriott Drops a Hint: Please Tip the Maid
- 7 Percent of US Workers Have Garnished Wages
CBS News names some folks who probably won’t help you get the job you want…
A non-work friend or very temporary co-worker. A reference should be someone who knows you and your work well. “Avoid using someone who did not work with you directly during your regular day-to-day job or on a special project,” says Heather McNab, author of “What Top Professionals Need to Know About Answering Job Interview Questions.”
A current co-worker. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. If someone who you work with is discrete and supportive, they may be your best reference, particularly if you’ve been at the same place for awhile or have a limited work history. But if you have other choices who are just as good, use them.
Someone with a bad rep. Think about your reference’s possible relationship with the company and how their name will be perceived by the recruiter.
A loose cannon. Clearly, you don’t want to ask for a reference from someone who doesn’t like you or didn’t give you favorable reviews when you worked for them. But also be careful of asking people who love you but have a tendency to speak off the cuff or say inappropriate things, says Cheryl Palmer, founder of Call to Career, a consulting firm.
In short, avoid people who overshare (loudmouths), undershare (acquaintances), or just don’t understand the concept of sharing (jerks) when you have other options. The article goes into a little more detail, but you should get the point. And remember: even a reliable reference can be a bad one if caught off guard. Be sure to stay in touch with your references and give a heads up.