Have you ever asked a relative or friend to pose as a job reference for you?
Well, if you have it’s nothing new, truly.
There are actual companies online that will provide fake job references. All one has to do is plug in basic information such as a position, a salary and the names they would like their “references” to be called and voila the fake company will provide a fake reference.
Sounds a bit scary, yes? Particularly for hiring managers and potential employers.
One such business is CareerExcuse.com which has received so many clients that it had to stop receiving new clients. The success for such a company is a direct result of the high unemployment rates and therefore the desperation of so very many weary job seekers.
William Schmidt fabricates job references for a price. And he feels good about it.
“At least I know I was able to help someone get a paycheck and provide for himself and his family,” the Ohio man told ABCNews.com.
Schmidt, 46, is the founder of CareerExcuse.com, a Web site that says it can fill in gaps on your resume by pledging to “act as your past employer” and provide job references, complete with working phone numbers and people on the other end of each line ready to answer questions posed by prospective employers.
Schmidt, who started the Web site after being laid off from his job as a human resource manager in February, said he got the idea after perusing posts on the micro-blogging site Twitter. He was surprised, he said, by how many Twitter users were asking strangers for job references.
“I saw tons of them when I searched it,” he said. “That’s where I saw the need for my service.”
(I couldn’t imagine asking total strangers on a Twitter account, no less, for a job reference! WHO DOES THAT?)
But see, this is where the line gets blurry. From an employer’s standpoint obviously this could be an ugly problem–hiring people with fake references– particularly if a legal issue arises.
But from an employee’s standpoint–particularly one who has exhaustively tried to get a job and may need to make their resume shine a little brighter than the boatload of other resumes–it can be easy to throw morals to the wind.
Of course there are exceptions to the fake job reference rule. For instance, if one is applying for “security” jobs–namely government, banking, actual security–their credentials and background would be more closely scrutinized so a fake reference probably wouldn’t fly anyway.
Personally I think that a fake job reference could catch up to a person. Either that or they’d always be looking over their shoulder wondering if every time a supervisor calls them into their office if the spit has hit the fan.
I wonder what will be next? Having others sit in for you on an interview?
Sounds crazy but then there’s nothing new under the sun.