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Contacting job references can:
Times are tough, and finding a decent job is no easy task. Finding the right candidate for that job is no easier. Education and experience do count for a lot, but job hunting references can make or break the deal in a heartbeat. A resume is really just words on paper; a person's references can tell a much clearer tale.
Job hunting references provide information about work ethic, potential laziness, or a propensity to just phone it in. The best references come from former employers, of course, or perhaps from educators and other leaders. Personal references can work too, because a candidate's friends and family members usually know a lot more about how one behaves outside of the workplace.
It is good, however, to take all information with a grain of salt and use your own senses when filling a position. Friends and family are honor-bound to say good things; of course they want their buddy to get the job. On the other hand, a former boss may not always be entirely truthful; some might even disparage a perfectly good worker out of spite, an old grudge, or a desire to keep the employee in-house. Business.com has garnered a wealth of information about job hunting references and how to deal with them. Visit the links to the left for further reading.