Do Employers Always Check References

Whenever you’re looking and applying for jobs, it’s natural to wonder whether a company will reach out to your references. It’s understandable since you probably worked really hard to get the best people to vouch for you. 

In that case, when will employers contact your references, and what kind of information do they ask about?

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about references and what to expect from potential employers. 

Do Companies Always Check References?

References help employers gather useful insights about candidates about their most recent performance, attributes, and other soft skills that may be valuable to the organization. 

They may also run a background check before considering an applicant for employment. 

In short, companies almost always check your references. A business will be more inclined to reach out to whomever you list if they’re particularly interested in moving you further through the hiring process. 

However, it’s not as simple as handing over your references on your resume and the employer hitting the phone or email to gather information. 

Some companies may only ask for references when they’re ready to reach out, and others will need them once they start interviewing. It’s completely up to the company of how or when they ask for references, but it’s always good to have them ready for when the time comes. 

How to Prepare References

The style in which companies want references varies, but there are a few things you can do to be well-prepared before applying. 

Here’s how to prepare references when looking for a new job:

Invest Your Time in Getting High-Quality References

Unless you’re well-connected, getting top-notch references can take some time. However, your efforts won’t be in vain once you have an astounding list of contacts. Reaching out to past employers can be tricky, but it’s vital for success. It doesn’t hurt to call them up or even visit to ask their permission to add them to your list of references.   

Pinpoint the Essential Skills

When you are reaching out to potential references, be sure to know exactly what you want them to cover. If you’re seeking a job in the same field, this shouldn’t be too tricky. 

However, if the job you’re applying for requires a certain set of skills, politely ask your reference to highlight those skills when they’re contacted. You can even give your reference an overview of what to cover to make their lives easier. 

Give Them a Copy of Your Resume

Even if you’re extremely close with whomever you’re considering adding to your list, they likely don’t remember all of your skills. 

Giving them a copy of your resume to look over will ensure they know your strong points, so they can provide a solid recommendation to your potential employer. Here is where you can do the overview part we mentioned above to highlight your most valuable traits. 

Are There Things Previous Employers Can’t Say?

Let’s say your potential employer reaches out to a previous company you worked for that you didn’t list on your reference sheet. This could be nerve-wracking if you didn’t leave the company on good terms. However, past employers can disclose almost anything they want, but they tend to say as little as possible to avoid a lawsuit. 

Final Thoughts

No doubt, searching for a new job can be extremely exciting and sometimes stressful. If you want to increase your chances of securing an amazing new position, take some time to build a list of top-notch references. If your potential employer reaches out to them, you can count on your previous coworkers to speak highly of you. 

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.