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 by 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 is likely to have answers to those questions. They will usually learn about your potential company and job position or 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 getting 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.

What Your Fake 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Talk about agile practices and how they were a very fast-paced workplace trend in the past.
  3. Tell a lie about the training you got while your company was in a startup incubator.
  4. Write that you went to events and talks like Google Adapt-a-startup or meetups, etc.
  5. Talk about how you were like a family and what a good place it was in the interview.
  6. 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 your 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—

Is it a Good Idea to Fake a Job Reference if You Have No Experience?

It isn’t a good idea to fake job references. Employment is fundamentally based on trust. If employers find out that you have faked your job reference, it will make them question both your ability and honesty.

The primary thing is to maintain a trustworthy relationship with your employer. Usually, they handle significant information and are responsible for compensating you for your efforts.

I can share a personal experience where my employer wasn’t honest about the progress of a project before I joined. I was supposed to complete this project within a set timeframe, which turned out to be a challenging task due to the misinformation. I left a more comfortable and higher-paying job for this role, only to find myself in a stressful situation, earning less than what I could have been making elsewhere. So, just be honest in the workplace.

if you have actual experience, you do not have to fake it. Just get any proof at all that links to your previous experience. It can be your bank statement showing payment for the job done or any form of ID you had during your time on the job.


A phony job reference comes with consequences if you get caught. Be careful when considering the risks and benefits. Generally, you want to be honest about your work history and qualifications to give you a better chance of getting a job that fits you and your skills. Just don’t get caught using fake reference.

Ultimately, you do not have to fake a job reference if you have the experience. Just get other forms of references as proof that you have done the job before. You can even provide contact to your former workplace if necessary.

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