How to fake a job reference

You probably want to fake a job reference for a previous position to make a good impression on potential employers such as hiding a previous termination, misrepresenting professional responsibilities or accomplishments, or simply making you appear more qualified than you actually are. Even though this is unethical and can have serious consequences if found out, it still happens a lot in the job search and application processes.

How to fake a job reference

This article looks at how to fake a job reference and what could happen if you do.

1. Submit a fake reference

The most common way to fake a job reference is to provide a fake reference, also known as a “ringer”, to your potential employer. The fake reference will be someone who pretends to be your former employer or manager. They just have to supply false information about your work history and qualifications.

The ringer can be your friend, relative, or even a paid service who will say good things about you, such as your job performance, skills, and qualifications.

In general, this basically has to do with lying for someone as a reference by being a fake reference for a friend.

2. Use a fake reference company

Another way to fake reference letter for job is to use a fake reference company. This service will give you fake references, as they have a pool of people who will pretend to be your former bosses and lie about your work history and qualifications. The reference will look real and is tailored to the specific job and company you are applying to.

3. Use a fake reference maker online

You could simply use a professional reference service to look up references. However, this option will cost you some money, but you probably have a better chance of it working because professional reference companies are used to providing professional reference services.

The service mostly knows that you will be asked interview questions and are likely to have answers to those questions. They usually will learn about your potential company and job position/job responsibilities to be able to provide quality references when the employers call.

Some professional reference generator services can be found on Fiverr. You can also use this Github tool via to generate one yourself for free. But you’ll need someone to stand in for you when you get fake job reference.

4. Change the information on your existing reference

You can change or manipulate the information on your existing real reference to falsify your job reference. In terms of manipulation, for example, you can ask your former boss to only talk about the good things you did at work and not mention your bad history. You can also ask your reference to exaggerate your achievements or job duties. In some cases, the reference might agree out of loyalty or friendship, but in other cases, they might not be aware that you need it for a new job role.

5. Get a reference from your former coworker

Instead of making your former manager your reference, consider giving a reference from a former coworker. Coworkers will not have the same deep insight into your job performance, and they will not be able to provide as many specifics about your work history and qualifications. But they can still give a good reference that can help you secure the job.

Read also: no work experience, no problem

What your reference should look like

Make sure your references are from start-ups. You can explain why they’re not online or simply say they went out of business.

  • Say that everything was done in-house and that you did a lot of different things that were way out of your job description and pay grade.
  • Talk about agile practices and how they were a very fast-paced workplace trend in the past.
  • Tell a lie about the training you got while your company was in a startup incubator.
  • Write that you went to events and talks like Google Adapt-a-startup or meetups, etc.
  • Talk about how you were like a family and what a good place it was in the interview.
  • Say that you were hired after doing an internship there while you were in college. This shows that they liked you. You can also say that you did it for free at first and just wanted to learn.

I also see a lot of people lie on their resumes by writing “student tutor.” You would say you helped your classmates or peers.

Do employers check if references are real?

Some employers check if references are real. During the pre-employment screening, most HR departments will contact your listed references to verify the information you provided for a better understanding of your work history, skills, and abilities, as well as moral character. If the references provided are insufficient, they may request additional ones.

Can you get in trouble for faking a reference?

Faking a reference could land you in trouble. False references are considered dishonest and unethical. It might even be against the law in some situations.

If your employer finds out you lied, you could lose your job. Not only do you risk getting fired, but your employer could also sue you for damages, which could include the salary they paid you and the costs of training you. You could also be charged with fraud in criminal court, which could stay on your criminal record—

Read also: ever seen rental history faked?


A phony job reference is a common but unethical practice that may result in severe consequences if you get caught. Be careful when considering the risks and benefits. Generally, it’s best to be honest about your work history and qualifications, as this will give you a better chance of getting a job that fits you and your skills. Just don’t get caught using fake reference.

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