Sunday, September 25, 2022

What can You do if you get a "Negative" Reference?

Do You have any legal recourse if you get a “Negative” Reference during your Background Check? 

“If you are passed over for a job because of negative references even though there was no consent to speak with anyone and they won’t disclose who or what was said about you? Is there any legal recourse?”

This question was recently asked on a popular Q & A forum and we decided to weigh in…

“No “permission” is necessary for anyone doing an employment background check to speak with your past employers, especially since you have already signed a release permitting the search. Your best course of action when it comes to past employers and references is to be proactive and speak with each before you ever apply for a job. That means contacting each past employer to verify what they will disclose about you. You should also contact any references you list to let them know they may be contacted. Be sure to tell them what position(s) you are applying for and whether they are willing to act as a reference at all. Bottom line is this…be proactive and KNOW what your references and past employers will say about you long before you start your job search”.

You can see the original post and other answers here!

Waiting until after that negative reference is never the answer!

Despite having written about these subjects before, it bears repeating…when it comes time to apply for any job, it is vital that you choose your references wisely and know what your past employers will say about you first!

When it comes to your References, a little preparation goes a long way.

Do You know what Your References will say about You? 

“Don’t fall prey to one of the biggest mistakes a job seeker can make ~ listing your former employers, supervisors, or professors as references without asking them first!

This simple step can save you from the embarrassment of a less-than-stellar recommendation and give your references a most welcome heads up. In fact, this common courtesy can greatly increase your chances of getting the job. 

Your references will have had the opportunity to gather their thoughts beforehand and will not be caught off guard ~ giving you the best chance of your references working for you instead of against you.

When references are contacted unaware, they often stumble. Dates and titles elude them. Specific projects you may have worked on or tasks you lead are unmentioned. This can lead to an unimpressive reference report.

These 7 Tips will help you get the best References:

  1. Make a list ~ create a list of present and past employers, managers, supervisors, co-workers, and others that may be willing to serve as a reference. 
  2. Check it twice ~ take a hard look at this list and keep those that really know you and your work well.
  3. Spread the word ~ reach out to each of those who made your final list and see if they are willing to act as a reference. 
  4. Fill in the details ~ make sure everyone on your final list knows the job you are applying for and with what company. Also give them a quick rundown of the skills the company is looking for. 
  5. Do a double check ~ verify that you have up to date contact information for each of your references (phone, email, etc.) and the best time and way to reach them.
  6. Create your final reference list ~ this list should include all pertinent information for each reference (name, company and title, contact number, email). It is also important to give a short description of how you know them and the dates of that relationship.
  7. Don’t forget the “Thank You” ~ a thank you note to each of your references can go a long way, especially if you end up needing their help again in the future!

Learn more about how you can get your references to help you get the job in “Do You know what your References will say about You? Be Smart, Ask First”.

Tips to Help You get the most out of your References and Employment Verifications!

Knowing in advance exactly what information past employers will reveal during a background check is also key. 

Not only does it give you a heads up, it also allows you time to prepare any mitigating information you can give to your potential employer.

It is just as important to be proactive when it comes to your past employers!

Do you really know what a former employer will say about you?

“Employers can choose to reveal anything about you, your work performance, and even reason for leaving as long as it is the truth! However, that doesn’t mean that they will! 

Due to fear of litigation, many employers choose to only verify a former employee’s dates and title of employment. Some will also share whether that person is eligible for rehire. 

But what they will share is all dependent upon company policy and is not necessarily consistent company to company.

The best thing any job applicant can do is to know beforehand what a former employer will say about them long before they ever apply for a job”.

Check out the steps you need to take to prepare yourself for the employment verification check check here!

The bottom line is this ~ when it comes to your job search and the inevitable employment background check ~ it is always best to be prepared.

Knowing in advance exactly what your references and past employers will reveal goes a long way toward relieving the angst of what your prospective new employer will find. It will also help you land the job ~ and that is your ultimate goal!

Authored by 

Need help preparing for your employment background check? Contact API Today. We will answer your questions and help you make sure your reference and resume is “background check ready”!

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