When a company requests references on a job application, you might be tempted to skip it, thinking, "Doesn't my work history speak for itself? Won't my references just say good things about me? Do employers even call references?" However, a new CareerBuilder studyfinds that employers pay attention to what your references say. In fact, 69 percent of employers say they've changed their mind about a candidate after speaking with a reference.
The national study surveyed hiring managers, human-resources professionals and workers across industries and company sizes to find out what matters when it comes to references.
What hiring managers and employers know
References do matter to potential employers, and they come up earlier in the hiring process than you may think. According to the study, 80 percent of employers say they contact references when evaluating potential employees. Sixteen percent of those employers will contact references even before they call the candidate for a job interview.