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How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter (With Examples)
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Having a referral by someone who is already employed at the company you’re applying to can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Mentioning a referral in your cover letter is one of the ways to do this.
To help you write the best referral in your cover letter, we’ll go over how to include a reference in a cover letter, provide some referral cover letter examples, and some benefits to being referred.
Make sure you have a reliable referral that is in good standing with a company, and that they know they are being included before putting down a referral.
Candidates that are referred also tend to feel more of an obligation to the company, their reference, and their team, allowing them to get up to speed more quickly and adapt to the new culture and workplace more efficiently.
Writing a cover letter with referral will allow you to highlight the key skills you can bring to the position and provide specific examples of why you are the best fit for this job.
What is a referral cover letter?
How to mention a referral in your cover letter, referral cover letter examples, who to ask for a referral, the benefits of being referred, referral in your cover letter faq, final thoughts, expert opinion.
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A referral cover letter is an application document for a potential job opportunity that mentions a mutual contact you may share with the hiring manager or someone in the company. This connection can be an old colleague, a friend, or a networking acquaintance who likely works at the company you are applying to.
When done effectively, you can drop their name in your cover letter to emphasize how your skills and abilities align with the job and how you’ve worked with your referral in the past. You can mention specific projects and details that you know this person may be able to vouch for.
Your cover letter is the first thing your employer or hiring manager is likely to see, so use it as your moment to shine. This document will allow you to provide additional details about your education, qualifications, skills, and work ethic. You can point to specific projects and challenges you may have experienced and discuss how you overcame them and how those abilities translate to the job you are applying for.
When mentioning a referral in your cover letter, make sure your referral knows you are including them before, and then mention their name in the letter and explain why they are recommending you. Here is a more detailed list of how to add reference in cover letter:
Make sure your referral knows. Mentioning a referral in your cover letter is appropriate when you have directly contacted the person you’re planning to mention as your referral. This could be someone you contacted or someone that contacted you. It can even be someone who is not your contact on LinkedIn or other networks, but you’ve reached out to them, and they’ve agreed to be a referral.
However, in instances where you have not asked for explicit permission from the person you’re planning to use as your referral or this person is not in good standing with their employer, you should stay clear of mentioning them in your cover letter .
Mention who is referring you. The purpose of the cover letter is to impress from the start . Mention your referral within the first paragraph of your note. To do this effectively, include:
The person’s name
How you know them
How they are familiar with your skills and qualifications
Explain why they are recommending you. You can give the hiring manager a quick summary of why they are recommending you and how your past experience gives you the skills required to do the job well.
Keep it short. Try to keep your referral to one single paragraph in your cover letter. The rest of your letter should expand more on you and your skills, including how the things you have learned in previous work environments are transferable to your new role .
Send a copy of your cover letter to your referral. The last thing you should do is send a copy of your cover letter to your referral so they can read it over. Doing this is a nice gesture and allows them to know what you are saying about them. Be sure to also thank them for their help.
We’ve included some examples of how it may look to include a referral in your cover letter.
Cover letter with referral example
Dear Angela Morris, I am writing to inquire about the Marketing Director position, which came highly recommended to me by Bill Jeffries, Vice President of Marketing at Apple, Inc. Bill and I worked closely together for several years at Nabisco, where we tackled a variety of event coordination and digital lead generation efforts. Bill believes my marketing experience and skill for developing memorable events can have a profound impact on the marketing team and organization as a whole.
Dear Larry Smith, Bill Jeffries suggested I reach out to you regarding the Marketing Director position at Apple, Inc. I met Bill while coordinating a conference at the end of last year. We worked closely together with vendors, contracts, and design. He was able to see my ability to bring booths to life, develop innovative ideas to capture new leads, and drive to continually improve marketing programs, which is why he’s referred me to this role on your team.
Dear John Riley, Tom Johnson suggested I contact you regarding the Customer Representative Position at XYZ Company. I worked with Tom last year when we worked together at ABC Corp. Working closely together allowed him to see my ability to connect with others and drive sales. This is why he referred me to this role and your team.
Getting a referral when you don’t know someone well can sometimes be tricky. But there are a variety of ways to be referred for a job . A connection at the company you’re applying for might inquire whether you’re interested in exploring new job opportunities. You may have an old connection on LinkedIn that you forgot about.
LinkedIn is a great tool to explore whether you know anyone at the company you are applying to. You can easily see if you know an existing connection or if one of your contacts knows someone at the company currently.
Once you choose someone to provide a referral , be sure to reach out to them before applying for the job. Ask if they are willing to give you a referral for the job. Even if you assume this person will build your credibility with the hiring manager, it’s important to check with them first. You don’t want to bombard someone at the last minute, and you certainly don’t want to tell the hiring manager that a person has vouched for you when they actually haven’t.
To do this, you can send them an email or a letter asking them for a referral. Similar to a reference letter , this will give the person you are asking a chance to look over the requirements and think about how they can best help you. This also gives them an opportunity to opt out of a referral in case they don’t feel comfortable.
Being a candidate who is referred by someone respected in the company is a tremendous benefit for you as a job seeker such as an expedited hiring process or the ability to highlight key skills. Here are some more benefits of being referred.
It can quicken the hiring process. Even if a company doesn’t have a formal employee referral program , the human resources (HR) department typically welcomes referrals. They help to expedite the hiring process and ensure that strong candidates fill open spots on teams.
Allows the interviewer to see you in a different light. When you are referred for a job, it might feel like a lot to live up to. However, if you view it as a step up during your interview process , you will be better suited for your interview. Ultimately, having a candidate referred gives the hiring manager an authentic glimpse into the kind of employee you will be and will help them relate your experience to the position.
A better understanding of the company culture. The person who referred you will likely be asked to provide insights into how you will fit into their company culture . However, there is no need to worry because the person who referred you would not have vouched for you if they didn’t think you were the right fit for this job.
Being able to highlight key skills. Putting this referral in your cover letter will allow you to highlight the key skills you can bring to the position and provide specific examples of why you are the best fit for this job. Cover letters give you another area to share additional details that your resume may not include.
Should you mention a referral in a cover letter?
Yes, you should mention a referral in your cover letter. Mentioning a referral in a cover letter helps to emphasize how your skills and abilities align with the job and how you’ve worked with your referral in the past. The best way to do this is to mention specific projects and details how you know the person and how they can vouch for you.
Who should be a referral for a job?
A referral should be someone you know such as an old colleague, former classmate, or someone from your network who works at the company you are applying for. The person who is referring you should be a current employee and someone you trust. They should be able to help highlight your strengths and abilities.
How do you mention a referral in your cover letter?
To mention a referral in your cover letter be sure to mention by name the person who referred you and your relationship to the. This should be a person who is a current employee who can highlight your skills and abilities. Your referral in your cover letter should be kept short and to the point.
If you come into a company with the right type of referral and a person who can actively vouch for your work ethic, you’ll already place yourself ahead of the competition. Even if you have a vast network and land your dream job, continue to network . Ensure that you always depart work environments on good terms with colleagues and managers. You never know who you will cross paths with later in your career journey: the broader your network, the better chance you will have to name-drop in the future.
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How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter
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“My colleague XXX recommended that I contact you directly about this position ” is an easy way to name drop your referral in the cover letter. To strengthen the statement, add something about the relationship of the referral to the company.
University of South Florida – Cover Letter Do’s & Don’ts
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Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.
Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.
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Cover Letter Referred by a Contact Examples
Cover Letters and Email Samples to Use for a Referral
One of the surest ways to grab an employer’s attention is to get a referral for the job . In fact, PayScale research shows that one-third of workers received a referral for their current position. And no wonder—if you were a hiring manager, wouldn’t you rather hire someone who comes recommended than take a chance on a stranger?
But simply getting a referral isn’t enough.
To maximize the benefits, you have to make sure that the hiring manager knows that you’ve been referred.
The best way to do that is to mention it in your cover letter. It’s the ideal place to share your referral’s name and the context you know them in.
Tips for Cover Letters That Get the Hiring Manager’s Attention
- Be professional. Your cover letter should be written as a formal business letter, whether it’s sent as an attachment, via mail, or email. An attachment or mailed letter should begin with your contact information, the date, and the hiring manager’s contact information. An email cover letter should include the referral in the subject line of the message.
- Start on the right foot. Begin your letter with a salutation followed by the hiring manager’s name. Mention your referral in the first paragraph of your cover letter, with a brief explanation of your connection.
- Show your interest. Next, mention what interests you about the position, and why you’re qualified for the job. Let your passion show. Employers want to hire candidates who are enthusiastic about the job.
- Say thank you. Make sure you thank the person for their time and consideration, and use an appropriate cover letter closing , followed by your signature (for a printed letter) and typed full name. In an email, your contact information would follow your typed name.
- Use cover letter samples. Your cover letter may be the first thing the hiring manager sees so you need to make a good impression. Review these cover letter samples for a variety of scenarios including a follow-up letter, inquiry letters, job/industry specific sample cover letters, cold contact, and referral letter samples. Be sure to customize your letter for every job application.
- Proofread, edit, and test before sending. Your final product should be typo-free and professionally formatted before you send it to the hiring team.
If you’re sending your cover letter via email, send yourself a test message before you email the employer.
That way, you can be sure that your formatting holds up in transmission and that there are no funny gaps or missing words in the final copy.
Cover Letter Example With a Referral
This is an example of a cover letter with a referral. Download the referral cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Cover Letter Example With a Referral (Text Version)
June Amour 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 firstname.lastname@example.org
September 1, 2018
Raymond Maximillian Sales Director Rubymax, Inc. 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Maximillian,
I am writing to express my interest in the International Sales position open at Rubymax, Inc. I am very familiar with your products and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about how I could help increase your International presence.
My colleague Joe Smith recommended that I contact you directly about this position. Joe and I have worked closely in the industry for many years, and he thought that I would be a good match for Rubymax.
My ten years of experience marketing widgets internationally have given me an overall knowledge of the business, directly applicable to your interest in increasing sales abroad.
In my previous position as International Sales Rep with ZQR Company, I successfully increased our revenue in each of my territories by over 50 percent within my first year. In the five years I spent at ZQR, I helped to establish sales bases in an additional five countries, while continuing to increase revenue in all.
Please take the time to review my resume. I believe that I am an excellent candidate for the position you have advertised, and would very much like the opportunity to meet with you discuss what I have to offer Rubymax, Inc. I truly appreciate your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Email Cover Letter With a Referral
Subject: Referred by Sloane Greene
Dear Ms. Future,
I am writing to you in regard to the position of billing manager that you have posted on your company website. I worked with Sloane Greene in the billing department of XYZ Enterprises for several years before taking a hiatus to raise my children.
When I mentioned I was returning to the workforce, she recommended I contact you about this position, as she felt that I would be an excellent fit for your organization.
At XYZ, I worked closely with Sloane to convert our billing system to handle the increase in sales volume the company was experiencing. I oversaw the seamless transition when our deliverables doubled in less than 6 months. I have successfully managed both small and large billing departments but am most comfortable in an environment like that at your company. I feel that my experience would be an asset to Bright Enterprises and would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you regarding the open position.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Beth Maple email@example.com 123-456-7890
If You Have a Referral, Say So Right Up Front: Include it in your cover letter and be sure to feature it in the first paragraph.
Use Cover Letters Samples to Guide Your Writing: But be sure to customize your cover letter for the specific job.
Be Professional: Use business-letter format and be sure to proofread your final draft before sending.
Say Thank You: Thank the hiring manager for their time and be sure to send thank-you notes to people who give you a referral, as well as to interviewers once you’ve met with them.
PayScale. " The Impact of Job Referrals ." Accessed Feb. 25, 2020.
How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter?
Including a referral in your cover letter can help get your resume noticed by the hiring manager. It shows that you have a personal connection to someone who can vouch for your skills and abilities. A referral from a colleague or past employer can be a great way to get your foot in the door with a new company.
It’s been shown that referral hires are more likely to stick around at their new job, have higher performance ratings, and are often paid higher salaries than non-referral hires.
The benefits of including a referral in your job application are well worth the effort it takes to obtain one. In fact, according to a report from Jobvite, 59% of job seekers say referrals are their preferred way to find jobs online.
But how do you know whom to ask for a referral? And how do you include one in your cover letter? This guide will walk you through how to ask for and include a referral so you can land that interview.
What is a Referral Cover Letter?
A referral cover letter is a letter that you send to a potential employer with your resume. It is a recommendation from someone within the company that can act as a personal endorsement for you and your job application. The letter includes the name of someone who has referred you to the company. This can be a friend, family member, or professional contact. The referral cover letter is a way to get your foot in the door and stand out from the competition.
Why Should You Use A Referral in your Cover letter?
A referral gives you credibility, as it’s basically an insider saying that you are qualified for the position and would be a good fit. People trust recommendations from people they know, so this person essentially vouching for you makes a huge difference.
According to a recent study from the University of Minnesota, including a referral in your cover letter can dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview . The survey found that applicants who included referrals within their letters were interviewed at twice the rate of those who didn’t include referrals.
There are a few other reasons why you might want to include a referral in your cover letter.
- It can help you stand out from the crowd. When you have a personal connection to someone who can vouch for your skills, it shows that you’re serious about the job and that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
- It also makes it easier for the hiring manager to trust you since they can see that you have the endorsement of someone they know.
- If a referral is a “known name” in the industry, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
- It can help you pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) screening software.
- Including a referral in your cover letter can also help you build relationships with the people you’re applying to work with. When you make a good impression on your referral, they might be more likely to refer you to other opportunities in the future.
Is name dropping in a cover letter OK?
Name-dropping does not come easily to everyone, but a referral cover letter is one place where it can work in your favor. Referrals are powerful because they involve an introduction from a known and respected individual. When you can name-drop a referral, it gives the hiring manager an additional reason to trust your qualifications and consider you for the job.
It’s important to be subtle when you’re name-dropping in your cover letter. You don’t want to come across as arrogant or entitled. Instead, focus on how your referral can vouch for your skills and abilities.
How to Ask for a Referral?
You have spent a lot of time perfecting your resume and tweaking your cover letter to match the job description. You have done everything you can think of to make sure that when recruiters read your documents they will be impressed by what they see, but there is one more thing that you need to consider: who are you going to ask for a referral?
1) Choose Professional Contacts over Personal:
When you can, choose someone who is a professional contact, not a personal one. You want to make sure that whoever you ask to be your referral has experience working with you or working with your work, so they can speak about the kind of contributions you make and the results those contributions produce.
2) Check with your Contact before dropping their name in a Cover letter:
Whoever it is, definitely check in with them before moving forward. At the very least, give them a heads up so they aren’t caught off guard if indeed that company does call them for any reason. Ideally, you will ask them if they would be comfortable giving you a referral and then send them a copy of your resume and cover letter so they can be prepared for what to expect if/when called upon by the company.
3) Search through Networking Platforms:
If you don’t have any connections in the company for the job you are applying for then you can use a mutual contact. A mutual contact is someone that you know and the hiring manager knows. You can do this by searching for them on LinkedIn, search through Facebook, Company Website other Professional Forums the contact may be present.
4) Reach out to them via Email:
The best way to ask for a referral is by email . You should explain why you are contacting them and why you want them to refer you, if possible. For example: “I worked on your team last year and our group won an award.” It’s also important to thank them for their time.
5) Apply via an employee referral program?
If you’re applying to a large company, they may have an employee referral program. This is a program where employees can refer candidates for open positions within the company. If you’re lucky enough to know someone who works for the company, be sure to ask them if they can refer you for a position as it is beneficial for both of you.
How To Include A Referral In Your Cover Letter?
When you’re including a referral in your cover letter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1) Include the Referral Information in Your Opening Paragraph
One way to include a referral in your cover letter is to use it as part of your opening paragraph.
2) Explain How they know you
The person who referred you will likely have given the hiring manager some context about how they know you. But if they haven’t, or if your connection is weak (you met them once at an event), it’s important to explain how you know each other.
3) Why are they providing this Recommendation
Include a few sentences about why they are qualified to speak about you. For example, if a former manager is recommending you for a position, mention this fact, as well as what your relationship has been like and how long they have known you.
Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph with a referral :
“I am interested in the Marketing Manager position at XYZ Company. I was referred to the position by my friend, Sarah, who knows someone at XYZ Company. Sarah has told me great things about the company and she thinks I would be a perfect fit for the position. I have attached my resume and the job listing to this email. I would appreciate if you could keep me in mind for the position. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Asking for a referral can help you get your resume noticed and land the job you want. Just be sure to follow these tips and examples so that you can do it correctly.
Examples of adding a referral to your cover letter:
Referral cover letters are structured similarly to application cover letters, but they usually include an additional paragraph that explains how you were referred to the position by someone in your network. Below, you’ll find examples of referral cover letters that indicates who the applicant was referred by, along with tips for writing a referral cover letter sample.
**Adding a referral in the body of your cover letter:**
“Dear Ms. [last name], [Referral source] recommended I reach out to you about the position of [job title]. I have a great deal of experience [briefly describe your relevant experience] and would love to work with you and your team. I am available for an interview at any time that is convenient for you, and I can be reached by phone at [your phone number], or by email at [your email address].”
In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should mention a mutual connection or referral who suggested that you reach out. Mentioning this person (or people) upfront will give you an instant connection with the hiring manager.
“I’m reaching out because [Name of Mutual Acquaintance] suggested I connect with you. She knew me from my work with [Company Name or Project], and she mentioned that you’re looking for someone to fill your opening for a [Name of Position].- “I am interested in the position of Social Media Manager at GHI company. I was referred to this position by my friend, Tina, who is the Social Media Manager at GHI company.”
Mention the referral in your first paragraph. Use words like “encouraged,” “recommended” or “referred.”
“I was encouraged by [referrer’s name] to apply for the [position name] role at [company name].”
“I was referred by [referrer’s name] to apply for the [position name] role at [company name]. They told me that you’re looking for a [skill-set/role-specific knowledge].”
I am writing to apply for the position of [position] at [company]. I was referred to the role by my friend and former colleague, [Name], who is currently working in the [department] at [Company]. I understand you are currently seeking candidates to fill this position.
I have been following company developments for several years, and I believe that my experience as a [job title] would be beneficial to your team.”
Referral Cover Letter Sample (Text Version)
I am reaching out to you in regard to the [job title] position with [Company name]. I believe my experience in [industry] and role as a [role title] is a good match for this position.
[Name of contact, mutual friend, or colleague] recommended that I contact you and submit my resume because they know I am interested in finding a new opportunity with an outstanding company such as yours. I have been working in [industry] for the last [x years/months], and have developed many of the skills necessary for the role of [job title].
I look forward to hearing from you to discuss how my experience fits your needs. Please feel free to reach me at [phone number] or via email at [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Referral Cover Letter Email
Dear [Recruiter Name]
I’m writing to apply for the [position name] position advertised on LinkedIn. I met [name] at an event last month, and they suggested I reach out to you directly. We discussed my background in [field], and how it would make me a great fit for this role.
If you have any questions about my experience or candidacy, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll follow up with you next week to see if you need any additional information from me, or if we can arrange a time for us to talk.
Email Subject Line for sending a Referral Cover Letter :
- Referral from [Kevin Rogers – VP Marketing] for Marketing Manager Position.
- [Kevin Rogers – VP Marketing] referred me to you for the [Marketing Manager] position.
Tips for Writing a Referral Cover Letter
- Including a referral at the top of your cover letter can help you get noticed by hiring managers and make it more likely that you’ll be granted an interview.
- Make sure to mention your referral’s name and how you know them, such as “I worked with [name] at [company].”
- Include a few sentences about why your referral thinks you’d be a good fit for the role and ask if they’d be willing to provide a reference if needed.
- Don’t forget to say “thank you” to your reader and let them know how they can reach out to learn more about you!.
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How to Include a Referral in a Cover Letter
Last Updated: July 19, 2022 References
This article was co-authored by Amber Rosenberg, PCC . Amber Rosenberg is a Professional Life Coach, Career Coach, and Executive Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the owner of Pacific Life Coach, she has 20+ years of coaching experience and a background in corporations, tech companies, and nonprofits. Amber trained with the Coaches Training Institute and is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 82,094 times.
Today's job market is very competitive. To get your cover letter noticed, you want to do anything possible to increase your chances of procuring an interview. When a company’s employee, vendor partner, or well-known customer refers you to apply for a job, it can be a huge advantage to include this information in your cover letter. If the person is a strong reference, using this referral in your cover letter will increase your odds of being spotted by the hiring manager. The trick is securing a referral and making sure to effectively capitalize on your connection.
Knowing When to Use a Referral
- There are also other ways to find someone to serve as a referral for you. For example, utilize your contacts from alumni organizations, social networks, and professional organizations. Of course, it is also important to make sure that your Linked-In profile is current so that potential employees can find you that way.
- Whichever contact method you choose, make sure it is both personal and professional. For example, if you choose to make the request via email, you might say something like, "Dear Jane, It was wonderful meeting you at the Annual Meeting of the People Who Have a Job Similar to Mine. I enjoyed our conversation! I'm currently looking for a new position, and I notice that your company has an opening for Manager of Important Things. I'm very interested in this job, and think I would be an excellent fit. Would you be willing to serve as a referral? I would like to use your name in my cover letter, if you are agreeable."
- For example, if you choose to confirm with a phone call, you could say, "Hello, Joe. I just wanted to let you know that I am in the process of finishing up my cover letter for the position at your company. I wanted to confirm that you're fine with me using your name as a referral. I really appreciate your help."
Writing Your Cover Letter
- For example, you could write, "Mary Smith, your sales manager, recommended that I apply for this job. Mary and I have known each other through the executive board of the Association for Sales Managers, and over the past five years, we have worked together on many projects for that organization."
- For example, you could write, "I excel at interpersonal communication. In my current role, I am responsible for managing a team of seven other employees and providing them with verbal feedback."
- One effective way to convey your understanding is by writing, "Your advertisement notes that you are looking to improve your employee training program. I have significant experience in this area, and in fact, have developed several onboarding methods that would benefit your organization."  X Trustworthy Source Harvard Business Review Online and print journal covering topics related to business management practices Go to source
- An example of a strong statement is, "I am excited about this opportunity because I am seeking a new professional challenge, and heading up your training program is something I can confidently handle. Additionally, your company has a reputation for a positive corporate culture that I think would be an ideal fit for my outgoing personality."
Finishing Your Cover Letter
- If you choose to follow up with an e-mail, you could write, "Dear Bob, Thank you again for agreeing to let me use you as a referral. I just wanted to let you know that I am sending my letter to Stan at your company. I'm attaching a copy, for your information."
- Edit any sentences such as, "The big project was completed by me." Instead, try "I successfully completed revising the training manual ahead of deadline."
- As you are in the process of applying for this job, don't forget to keep your connections current. Networking is extremely important to connect you to more referrals and opportunities. Attend local professional meetings or basic networking groups regularly.  X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Convey a positive and professional attitude when approaching potential references. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Pay attention to detail. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/5-ways-win-employee-referral-hired/
- ↑ http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/02/02/the-skinny-on-employee-referral-programs
- ↑ Amber Rosenberg, PCC. Pacific Life Coach. Expert Interview. 8 July 2022.
- ↑ https://www.pongoresume.com/blogPosts/381/when-and-how-to-name-drop-in-your-cover-letter.cfm
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CoverLetters.html
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
- ↑ http://guides.wsj.com/careers/how-to-start-a-job-search/how-to-write-a-cover-letter/
- ↑ http://www.papercheck.com/cover-letter-editing.html
- ↑ http://www.careerchoiceguide.com/referral-cover-letter.html
- ↑ http://www.businessinsider.com/the-importance-of-networking-2011-5
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How to Add a Referral in a Cover Letter
What is a cover letter referral?
How to include a referral in your cover letter, cover letter referral examples.
A referral is someone who recommends you for a particular job. Colleagues, people employed by the hiring company and former teachers can all be appropriate referrals. With their permission, you can mention the name of a referral in your cover letter. When you add a referral to your cover letter, it can make a positive first impression and help move your application ahead in the hiring process.
Add your referral to your cover letter’s introduction. You should catch the hiring manager’s attention, and a referral is a great way to do this. This also creates an instant personal connection between you and the company.
Follow these steps to include a referral in your cover letter:
1. First, ask for your referral’s approval
You must get approval before adding that individual’s name to your cover letter. By doing so, you are confirming that they are happy to recommend you for the job.
If they tell you about the position, you have an opportunity to ask whether you can use their name as a referral. If you see a job posting first, call them and ask whether they would mind giving you a referral. Discuss the position, the company and why your contact thinks you are a good candidate. Your referral is staking their reputation on you, so be sure to thank them.
2. Next, mention the referral by name
Mention your referral by their full name. This takes away any confusion about who they are. If their name is common, you might also add details about how the hiring manager may know them. Do not use their nickname, even if they are commonly known by this. Double-check the spelling of their first and last name.
3. Then, explain your connection to your referral
Note whether your referral is a former or current colleague or a person connected to you in some other way. Explaining your connection gives the hiring manager some context for the referral.
4. Next, describe why the person referred you
Explain why your referral feels you are suitable for the position. This provides an opportunity to outline your strengths. If you have worked with your referral before, provide a brief explanation of this working relationship. If your referral is a former teacher, you can note the relevant course. Mention any experiences or skills your referral witnessed that might be applicable to the position. If this person works at the hiring company, note any qualities they think you have that would suit the business culture.
5. Last, send a copy of your cover letter to your referral
It is a good idea to send a copy of your cover letter to your referral. When they know exactly what you have written, they will not be surprised by anything the hiring manager says to them about your application or relationship. It will also help your referral prepare for what they might want to say if the hiring manager has any follow-up questions for them.
Every referral is different, as it reflects your personal relationship with that particular contact. However, the following cover letter referral examples can help you write your own:
Dear Ms. Gutherson,
I was excited to hear about the opening in your engineering department from one of your lead engineers, Dale Forrest. Before joining your company, Dale worked with me for five years on the engineering team at Practical Software Solutions. During that time, Dale praised me for my attention to detail and creative problem-solving skills. Dale said he felt those skills would make me an excellent addition to your engineering team.
Dear Mr. Lane,
Your receptionist Kelly Price suggested I contact you about your vacant social worker position. I met Kelly last year when she began volunteering with me at a local soup kitchen, Soul Food. Working closely together allowed her to see my ability to connect with others and my compassion for people with financial hardships and mental health difficulties.
Dear Ms. Nelson,
I was thrilled to hear about the vacant position on your design team from Hayley Saunders. Hayley and I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at the University of Central Oklahoma together in 2003 and have remained close friends. She felt my creativity and 10 years’ experience working as a designer in the media industry would make me a natural fit for the role with you at Parent and Baby Monthly Magazine.
How to Mention Referrals in Cover Letters: What to Do and What Not to Do
Referrals on a resume are quite often limited to a few words at the end of the document. However, when considering how to mention referrals in cover letters you need to take a quite different approach.
A compelling cover letter is just as important as a carefully crafted resume and a good referral can make the difference in both cases. However, due to the nature of a cover letter as a flowing text, the way you weave a professional connection into your prose can be quite distinct.
In this article, we explain a few of the most important dos and a don’ts to consider when approaching cover letter referrals. Find out how to successfully mention referrals in cover letters and how these might appear in the final draft.
Do: Highlight Your Referral in the First Paragraph
Unlike on the resume, your referral needs to be mentioned upfront . Your first paragraph normally needs to make it clear quickly that you’ve been recommended by someone before moving on to your achievements.
This is not only useful in getting the recruiter’s attention from the start. It also gives them extra incentive to keep reading further. Alternatively, If it’s not in the very first paragraph, it needs to be mentioned as soon as possible in the text.
Don’t: Use a Referral That Doesn’t Make Sense
A referral is only valuable if it can provide a clear connection between yourself and the open position . Therefore, using a referee who is unrecognizable to anyone in the company is not going to get you very far.
If you have a referee but they can’t help provide a useful introduction to a job in the sector or industry you want to get hired in, it’s better to leave them off the page.
The referral always needs to act as a bridge between you and the company to create a soft establishment of contact. If it doesn’t serve, cut it.
Do: Be Professional When You Namedrop
As with the rest of your cover letter, it’s important to be professional in the way that you name and explain your connection to the referee. This is shown in the sample text below:
I am writing to you to express my interest in the Sales Representative position available at Entertech Inc as recommended to me by Joe Smith. Joe and I have worked closely together for a number of years and he made me aware I could be a good fit for this position given my experience and record in sales.
As you can see from this simple example, the reference doesn’t need to be long or wordy to be formal and professional. It focuses on an indirect way of selling yourself that addresses the needs of the role whilst giving you the best introduction possible.
Don’t: Name Someone Without Getting Permission First
It’s very bad business etiquette to namedrop someone in a cover letter without asking them first. Always get permission before sending out a document with a named professional in case the recruiter contacts them regarding your application.
Not getting permission upfront can have negative consequences for a couple of reasons. First and foremost it could burn your bridges with the referee in question.
Secondly, it might undermine your chances of getting picked if the recruiter notices some unfamiliarity between yourself and the referee. Honesty is highly valued in companies and if you state that someone has recommended a position to you when they haven’t, it could lead to you losing out on the role.
Ideally, you should send a copy of your draft cover letter to the person you’re naming before submitting it. That way you’ll be able to ensure they are happy with the information about them you’ve provided.
Do: Explain Your Connection to the Referee
The recruiter needs to be able to understand why your referee might have recommended you and how this might connect to your eligibility for the job. Therefore always make it clear whether they have referred you for any of the following reasons:
- You work with them
- They work in the company you’re targeting
- You’ve worked with them previously
- They know you personally
Don’t: Forget to Explain Why They Are Recommending You
Along with the details of how you know your referee, you also need to give an indication as to why they have recommended you.
As shown in our example previously, it’s important to state why they have told you about the opportunity with the company. This can normally be demonstrated by noting a few achievements, types of experience, or working styles that could make you a good candidate.
There can be no doubt that a referral for a job can accelerate your chances of getting hired . Trust and relationships play a big role in professional development. By getting the recommendation of someone known to the company or who can vouch for you can go a long way in making your cover letter pack a punch.
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How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Tips
A cover letter is a great way to complement your resume. A well-written resume and cover letter may be of interest to a potential employer. It is especially significant if your area has a lot of candidates. Therefore, job searchers can use professional resume editing service to boost their chances of landing a job.
You might include a reference in your cover letter to help it become more effective. In 2017, PayScale surveyed 53,000 employees, and it turned out that 1/3 of respondents sent referral cover letters. While a referral is not necessary for your cover letter, it can nonetheless catch a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s attention.
We have already talked about cover letter do’s and dont’s earlier. For now, we suggest that you focus on referrals in cover letters.
What is a Referral?
A reference or a referral is a recommendation from a current or former employee of the company where the applicant wishes to work. Companies themselves sometimes organize referral programs to attract new qualified personnel. It means that employees can bring in new professionals with whom they have had previous favorable experiences.
A reference cover letter is one in which you refer to a contact who is familiar with hiring managers and recruiters and is connected with that organization. A referral can be beneficial when looking for a job because it helps substantiate your resume and cover letter facts.
Hiring managers and recruiters might benefit from referrals in filling open positions. Applicants should give a reference that verifies the abilities that the organization is looking for. In addition, a cover letter referred by an employee can increase interest and confidence in the candidate.
Is it Necessary to Add a Reference in a Cover Letter?
Referral cover letters are helpful in various situations. For instance, if a job seeker has a contact who recommended them to apply to the company, the job seeker can drop their name in a cover letter.
You can always include a referral from a former colleague, manager, or professor in your cover letter if they are familiar with the organization’s hiring manager or recruiter. Talent acquisition managers, in turn, are always interested in having referrals in your paper.
Read More: Career Change Cover Letter Writing Tips
How to Mention a Referral in a Cover Letter?
We’ve outlined four procedures that will help you correctly mention a referral in your cover letter:
- Introduce your reference contact.
Begin your cover letter by mentioning a reference by their full name. A hiring manager or recruiter must establish reliability by verifying your relationship with references. Fill in valuable and concise information about this person so the hiring manager can know the background.
- Describe your relationships with the referral.
Then explain your connection to the referral. A hiring manager or recruiter can use your link to the reference to assess reliability. Furthermore, the explanation can demonstrate your ability to have a beneficial impact on people as well as your capacity to build meaningful relationships.
- Explain why they think you’d be a good fit for the job.
Your referral should provide reasons why you can be of service to this company. It will reveal your strengths, which specific situations can bolster. Thus, hiring managers and recruiters can consider a job offer if they know how you react in stressful situations.
- Describe your experience with referral.
The final step in establishing credibility with recruiters and hiring managers is to describe the experience with a referral. However, it would help if you highlighted particular facts rather than generic or clichéd phrases. Nonetheless, the purpose of a referral is to make it apparent to hiring managers or recruiters who you are and what you do.
What is the Best Way to Acquire a Referral?
We will share three steps to get a referral:
- Identify possible references
Determine who might be able to assist you. It should be someone who either works for the organization or knows the hiring manager or recruiter somehow. Your reference should be well-versed in your abilities.
- Obtain your reference’s permission.
After you’ve identified a person who could be a good referral for your cover letter, contact them and ask if they’d be willing to assist you.
More importantly, ask if you can include their name in the document. It’s not only a tribute but also a sign of the referral’s trust in you. Plus, if you let them know ahead of time, they’ll be prepared if recruiters contact them.
- Send a copy of your covering letter before submitting it.
Before sending your cover letter, you should check it with the referral. Check whether they concur with the statements. It will help them prepare before speaking with the hiring manager or recruiter about your candidacy.
How Should I Ask for a Reference?
Before you begin writing a referral, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Respectfully request a recommendation.
Reduce the possibility of rejection by politely asking the person to be your reference. You can begin by explaining the desired position or company, then effortlessly talk about the referral.
- Give your possible reference information about the position.
When asking for a reference, be specific about the position you’re going for and the qualifications they’re looking for. It will show a referral the characteristics the employer is searching for. Knowing this will make it easier for the referral to highlight your specific strengths.
- Ascertain that the referral is capable of taking responsibility.
The person who refers you must believe that your skills are compatible with the company’s needs. If someone does not know your skills, they are reluctant to take responsibility and recommend you. That is why you should first find someone familiar with your skills and abilities and ask if they would recommend you.
Referral Cover Letter Sample
Finally, here’s an example of a well-written referral cover letter:
If you have someone who can actively vouch for your work ethic, you’ll already be ahead of the competition. Consider whether you have people in your business network who can assist you.
ResumeEdge is happy to be at your service in case you’ve decided to create a cover letter with references. Our cover letter writing service offers collaboration with professional writers to develop catchy cover letters.
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What is a cover letter? How to write a cover letter and what you should include to stand out.
W hen applying for a job or internship, companies could ask you to send in several documents, such as a resume or work samples. In many cases, you may also have to include a cover letter for an application.
According to Indeed, resumes are essentially "condensed fact sheets" about an applicant, including someone's education, previous work experiences, qualifications and skills, among other personal information.
But what about a cover letter? What is it, and what should be in a cover letter?
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If you are looking to send out some applications and need to amp up your professional prowess, read on to learn more about cover letters and how to write one.
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What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a written document you send along with your resume to a company when you are applying for a job. This document contains additional information on your skills and experiences as they pertain to the job you applied for , according to Indeed.
There are four types of cover letters, says Indeed:
- Application cover letter
- Referral cover letter
- Letter of interest
- Value proposition letter
An application cover letter is often the standard when applying for jobs. This type expands on your previous professional experiences referenced on your resume and relates them to the requirements of the current job you are applying for.
A referral cover letter is a deviation of the aforementioned but includes the names of a current employee who referred you to apply to the job opening.
A letter of interest is a more general inquiry about any openings at a company where you are interested in working. In this type of cover letter, you are not applying for a specific position but are instead looking to learn more about a company's current hiring prospects.
A value proposition letter focuses on what you can add to a company and what makes you unique. This style of cover letter can often answer "tell me about yourself" type questions or personal essay prompts in applications.
What should be in a cover letter?
The major component for a cover letter is personal information , says the University of Washington.
Be sure to include your name and contact information, such as cell phone number and email, so the recruiter or hiring manager can easily identify your application and get in touch if they wish.
As with any letter, add a greeting before you get into the main content, such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear (Insert name of contact)." You may also choose to include the company's name and address above your introduction.
In the introduction paragraph, express your initial interest and name the advertised position you are applying for. You may also want to include how you learned of the opening, such as through LinkedIn or an employee referral.
In the body paragraphs, outline how your previous experiences inform your work ethic. You may also want to feature your personal skills and provide specific examples to demonstrate your qualifications.
In your closing, focus on why you fit the job opening and hone in on your capabilities. Make sure to thank the manager for their time and open the door to hear from the employer about the next steps.
Cover letter tips: A simple guide for writing the perfect cover letter
Read more: How to land a job with limited field experience
How necessary is a cover letter?
Cover letters are important when applying for a job since they show an employer a deeper view of your initiative and highlight your qualifications beyond what is already on your resume, says Indeed. Through a cover letter, hiring managers can gauge how your skills and experience are relevant for the opening.
According to Indeed, cover letters are necessary when sending out a job application if:
- The employer specifies to send a cover letter
- The application asks for a submission
- You have been referred to a position and wish to identify the company referral
If an application explicitly states you should not include a cover letter, then do not.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is a cover letter? How to write a cover letter and what you should include to stand out.