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The Power of Referrals in Your Job Search

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

As you’re updating your resume, you’ve already made sure to use the “keywords” the employer looking for.  You’ve simplified the information to make your relevant experience and accomplishments stand out. And, you’ve written a cover letter addressed to a specific person. The checklist to apply for the role seems complete. But, there is one more thing you could add that could increase your chance of winning the interview: an employee referral.

Having a referral from a current employee can be the key to getting the job. According to a 2015 study by Recruiter Nation, referred applicants are an average of 5 times more likely to be hired, and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board.

And, employee referral programs are only becoming more popular with companies, especially in larger organizations or those that need technical or hard to find talent. Employers have found that strong employee referral programs allow them to attract higher quality candidates and experience lower turnover rates after hire. Not to mention, it is less expensive and faster to hire from referrals than other methods of candidate sourcing.

So, before you apply for your next role, search your network on LinkedIn to see who you may know, or who you may have a 2nd-degree connection with. Once you've found someone, send them an e-mail (or LinkedIn message) asking for a referral.

The key is to be specific. It’s most effective if you give them all the information they need up


Hi (Name), I hope you're doing well! I am in the middle of a job search and would like to apply for the open (insert title) position at (Company name).

Would you mind if I put your name down as an employee reference? I have attached my resume for your review.

Thank you!

Or, to make a softer request:

Hi (Name), I hope you're doing well! I am in the middle of a job search and would like to apply for the open (insert title) position at (Company name).

Do you know who I should reach out to? I have attached my resume for your reference.

Thank you!

If you are looking to grow your professional network, consider joining professional organizations, attending events, trade shows, or conferences in your industry or area, and making connections to anyone you’ve worked with in the past as a co-worker, vendor, customer, or volunteer.

At D&S Professional Coaching, we partner with executives around the world to create highly effective job search tools to compete for top positions.

Our services include executive-level resume and cover letter writing, LinkedIn profile creation and optimization, recruiter connections, and modern job search coaching.

Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!


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