References can make or break your chances of landing a job, so be careful about who you suggest prospective employers call to learn more about you. Here are some people you should never use as job references.

Family Members

Hiring managers generally assume your parents can’t give an objective view of your work history or how you’ll behave as an employee, so don’t put them down as references.

That goes for all family members, as they will most likely think you’re great. Employers are interested in your prior work experience, work ethic and your moral character. Your family’s opinion will always be biased.

Anyone who fired you

A reference who fired you will either say nothing at all because they have nothing nice to say, or they will talk about how you were a terrible employee. It is safe to assume that if you did not leave on good terms, then they should not be used as a reference.

Friends or Roommates

If you haven’t worked with your friends, they aren’t going to be able to give the kind of information potential employers are looking for. It’s common for people to list people with impressive titles as references who employers can easily discover are actually their roommates. Applicants should just be honest about who their references are and how they know them, or don’t provide references at all if the employer doesn’t ask for them.

Anyone Who’s Not Expecting a Call

Don’t use a reference who you have not prepared to receive a call from a prospective employer. Good references are willing to help you, but they may inadvertently hurt you if you have not prepared them for the call that they will get from potential employers. You should notify your references when you are going for job interviews, because you don’t know how quickly the employers may call. Give your references your most recent resume as well so they are up-to-date on what you’ve been doing.