Great news for both job seekers and grads: Hiring is expected to improve in this year. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) a non-profit education organization, polled more than 200 employers worldwide, including 45 Fortune 500 companies, for its annual Year-End Poll of Employers and the results were positive for new MBA grads and current workers: More than 75% of employers plan to hire new MBA graduates in 2013 – up from 69% in 2012. In addition, 85% of employers plan to hire experienced workers in 2013. That’s 3 percent higher than 2012. The news comes as the nation’s overall unemployment rate last month dropped from 7.9 to 7.7 percent. If you’re applying a layer of polish to your resume in preparation for your job search, make sure that everything is in top shape, including your references. A new study released by CareerBuilder discovered that over 80% of employers contact references when evaluating potential employees, with 16% of employers calling references before approaching the candidate for an interview. Of those employers, more than 60% contacted a reference who didn’t have good things to say about the candidate, and nearly 30% have discovered fake references on a candidate’s application. All in all, most employers agree that good or bad references can impact the chance of landing a job. 47% of employers reported they had a less favorable opinion and 23% having had a more favorable opinion after speaking with a reference. Whether you’re a new grad or an experienced worker looking for work, remember to keep things honest and find references who will cheerlead your strengths. And if you’re having a hard time finding work, stay positive – things are looking good for 2013!