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How to Locate & Ask For A Job Referral

How to Locate & Ask For A Job Referral

Conventional wisdom states that a job referral leads to getting a new job. In many cases, it is true. As a referral candidate, you are often considered a better fit and will typically stay in your role longer than other hires. Having a job referral does not mean that landing the position is set in stone. You need to know how to capitalize on that connection in order to get your foot in the door and impress the hiring manager. How do you ask someone you know who currently works at your target company to help you out? What is your next step once they have put in a good word for you? Should you mention them in your cover letter or during the interview process? With these questions already in mind, we can dive in to find and ask for employee referrals. 

What is a job referral?

A job referral is a recommendation provided by someone who is connected to an organization that you are interested in working for and who can vouch for your qualifications. This professional endorsement can significantly enhance your chances of getting noticed in a crowded job market as a testament to your suitability for the role. It is not only about getting your foot in the door, it is about starting off with a solid introduction that says you are more than qualified for the position. You are someone out of the ordinary who is highly recommended and has a bit of sparkle.

How To Successfully Find A Job Referral

The key to making job referrals work well for you is finding a connection between a job opening and someone you know. Start by searching your network on LinkedIn to see who may be working at companies where you would like to work. It could be one of your former colleagues, classmates or even friends who share your professional interests. At the very least, it is always great to catch up and they might be working at your dream company.

How To Ask For A Referral

Once you have identified a connection in your network, send them an email asking about the specific job that you have seen at the company and include the link to the job description if you can.

Best Practices For Your Job Referral

Capitalizing on a job referral requires a professional and friendly approach while fostering a connection that could last a lifetime. 

Ask For Their Permission

This might seem like an obvious step but it is an important one to remember. The last thing you want to do is lose your connection's trust by using their name in your application when they feel uncomfortable with you doing so. Make sure you have the okay from them before mentioning their name in order to start building a relationship with the recruiter or hiring manager.

Include Your Job Referral In Your Email & Cover Letter

Once you have permission to use your contact’s name, you can include them in your initial outreach to the hiring manager. Make sure to mention your referral early on to set the tone appropriately.

Keep Your Referral Updated

You should let your contact know after you submit your resume and any other required application materials. They may be able to provide insider information on the progress and help you navigate potential hazards in the interview process. Keep this line of communication open throughout the application process and express your enthusiasm about the opportunity.

Mention Your Referral In Your Interview

If you have already mentioned your referral in your correspondence with the hiring manager, you can also mention them once you get to the interview stage. You want to mention your connection in the right way, otherwise you risk focusing on the wrong thing.