6 Things Employers Look for When They Conduct On-and-Offline Reference Checking

March 31st, 2015

Employers have gotten much more careful about who they hire. Even if you make it through the interview gauntlet, you must still survive reference checks and the hiring manager’s assessment of your online presence. How can you ensure that you make just as good an impression as you did in the interview?

Be aware of these 6 things employers are looking for.


Will your references indicate that you knew how to comport yourself on the job? Is your online presence one that could cause them issues or liabilities? Delete or lockdown any social media accounts or activity that you would not want visible to a potential employer.


When the employer contacts previous companies, will your contact remember you an employee who raised morale or did you drag your fellow employees down? Are your social media accounts full of complaints and negativity? Adjust your online activity if you must and choose references who can paint you in your best light.


Were your responsibilities and job title as you described? Did you stretch the truth on your experience? Employers will be looking for confirmation of your abilities. If you are not completely truthful, chances are you will be found out, if not during a reference check, then on the job.


Do you perform well in fast-paced environments or those that require patience and deliberation? Do you work better as an individual contributor or as part of a team? Each of these qualities has its place, but if the prospective employer expects a particular work style or temperament, he will be looking for candidates who most closely match their corporate culture.

Communication Skills

The hiring manager may ask your references about your oral and written communication skills, but if you are active on social media, your abilities are open for the world to see. Check your LinkedIn profile to ensure that it’s well-written and free from grammar and punctuation errors.


When an employer contacts a reference, he hopes that the respondent will rave about you. Yes or no answers or direct responses without embellishment may give him cause for concern. Choose references who will speak highly of you with no hesitation.

At 1st Staffing Group, our experienced recruiters can help you find jobs that suit your skills and experience and help you present yourself professionally so that you get the offer. Call us today to get started.

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