Worst People to Ask for a Reference

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

You're this close to a great job, and now the hiring manager wants your references. Who should you list? Not these guys.

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.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 19 Cheap or Free Ways to Cut Your Winter Energy Bills

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,741 more deals!