Are Your Potential Employers Calling an Unwanted Reference?

For Immediate Release

Are Your Potential Employers Calling an Unwanted Reference?

Your Critical References are Employment, Not Personal

DETROIT (September 13, 2018) – This scenario probably sounds familiar: when completing an employment application, you are asked to identify several references for prospective employers to contact. To maximize your prospects, you list personal or professional references you are confident will “sing your praises”.

However, it’s unlikely that the references you offer will be the deciding factor in gaining new employment. More than likely, prospective employers will look first at the name in the “Former Supervisor” box on your job application, and whether you authorize it or not, your previous supervisor may well get a call from a prospective employer. (If you decline to identify your former supervisor, it’s highly unlikely that a prospective employer will proceed any further with your application.)

The key is in understanding who are your critical references, and it is not personal acquaintances, friends or casual associates. Most important are your former supervisors and Human Resources representatives at your previous places of employment. Employers understand that while confirmation of your dates/title only is appropriate company policy, supervisors (in particular) are frequently willing to offer them the candid input they seek.

If you’re concerned about a possible poor reference from your former supervisor or HR representative, what is your best course of action? One recommendation is to have a third-party reference checking firm like Allison & Taylor check your key references prior to beginning your job search. If you receive a “neutral” (employment dates/title) confirmation then you can rest easier that this reference will not cost you future employment. However, if a supervisor, HR representative or other party offers negative commentary about you (which, unfortunately, is a very common occurrence) consider a “Cease & Desist” letter issued through an attorney to the senior management of your former employer.  Such letters are extremely effective, as the party receiving the letter generally has little tolerance for someone within their company who is exceeding company policy in offering negative commentary and (in so doing) putting the company at legal risk.

Also be aware that some negative commentary may be illegal – e.g. defamation of character, discrimination, wrongful discharge, etc. – and you may have stronger legal recourse than a Cease & Desist letter.

In summary, understand that the job references who will “make or break” you are typically your former supervisor and Human Resources department. Never assume that they will follow the verbal indication they may have given you – you simply have too much at stake.  Instead, conduct your due diligence and have their input documented by a third party.  If negativity is uncovered, you will have some level of recourse as described above and ensure that your new employment opportunity presents itself sooner, than later.

# # #

About AllisonTaylor

AllisonTaylor and its principals have been in the business of checking references for corporations and individuals since 1984. We are highly acclaimed with employers, employees and the media alike. Compliments and mentions from influential publications and writers at The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, Workplace Bullying Institute, ABC Newswire, Forbes, USA Today, Hcareers, Fortune and MyFox News provide insight into our services. AllisonTaylor  is headquartered in Rochester, Mich. For further details on services and procedures please visit

AllisonTaylor – Find us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter, Google+. Check out our Blog!


Media Contact
Jeff Shane
800-890-5645 (toll-free USA/Canada)