Whether or not you think it's okay to lie on your resume, chances are you won't have a reference to back up any details beyond innocent embellishment. If you're a recent grad, the best references are your supervisors from internships and mentors from your major's department at school — believe me, as an entry-level applicant an employer will surely give them a call. Once you've been in the working world for a while, employers will usually contact your references and you should always offer a prospective employer your sheet of references, even if they don't ask for it. The Wall Street Journal published a list of the qualities an ideal reference should have. To see what they are please
- People who you are certain think highly of you.
- People who will take the request seriously and be prepared and thoughtful in their answers, even if you don’t have time to brief them beforehand (though building in time for a thorough briefing is a wise idea).
- People who understand the context in which the reference is being given.
- People who will know, intuitively, how to present any of your potential weaknesses as strengths.
- People who express themselves well — either verbally or in writing, depending on which type of reference they will be giving.