How to ask for a job referral?

How to get a job through referral

Having the endorsement of someone on the inside can help candidates stand out from the hundreds of applicants for the same job.

Many people who have advertised their layoffs on LinkedIn and other online networking forums say it can quickly lead to job referrals from recruiters and employees at other companies and, soon, actual offers, according to WSJ. In a study of recruiting practices at over 1,000 mid- and large-size companies by talent-management software firm SilkRoad Technology Inc., employee referrals accounted for more than 30% of all hires.  

Whether asking someone to put in a good word for you with a hiring manager, forward your résumé to a recruiter or endorse you on LinkedIn, lean on someone who is at the company—or has ties to people who do, always gives your referrer an out in case they don’t feel comfortable. 

If it is someone you know professionally but isn’t close to, tell them at the outset that you are sending your application to their employer, she says. Then be direct and say, “‘I don’t know if it would be appropriate for you to put in a word for me, but if you feel comfortable doing that, I’d appreciate it.”

If the person you ask knows you socially, not professionally, explain that vouching for your character would go a long way, but give them an out and say you understand if they feel they can’t. Acknowledge that you are asking for a favour. 

If your referrer agrees to help, be proactive and send along a paragraph of your accomplishments, and they can forward it. Send your updated resume highlighting your skills, education, work experience and achievements.

But what if they decline? 

If the person you hoped could refer you politely declines, know that they might have good reasons for their decision. Professionals make connections that make sense and will enhance their reputation. They might know more about the position you are applying for and why you aren’t the right fit. They might also feel they don’t know you well enough to refer you; some will say so.

solid professional network is helpful in these situations. Check your LinkedIn network for anyone with a connection to your target employer, and make connections with potential employers.   

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