Job seekers beware!  Former co-workers you decide to use as a reference may actually come back to hurt you in the long run.

According to a new Harris survey done for Career Builders, 62% of references contacted by hiring managers admit to having given a bad review of job applicants.

And as a result, 69% of employers admit to having changed their minds about candidates because of the bad review.

If you're thinking to yourself, "Well, businesses are so busy, they don't have time to check references."  Guess again!  Eighty percent of bosses say they do check references!

Researchers say they were surprised to learn that often times job seekers didn't first check with their friends and former co-workers to see if it was even okay to use them as a reference.  They found that to be the case 15% of the time!

Remember - no one likes being put on the spot by a surprise phone call.

Have the common courtesy to check with your references first!