A referral cover letter is used when you want to share a mutual contact you have with the hiring manager. The contact can be a friend, employee, or networking acquaintance at the company where you are applying for a job.
Writing a great referral letter will give you a competitive advantage over many other candidates’ cover letters short-listed by the hiring manager or recruiter. When you mention someone referred you, it is like getting an employee reference in advance.
The letter should include the name of the person who referred you to the job position. It should also be concise, well-written, and true.
Studies show that hiring through employee referrals is more effective than relying on job sites.
A referral cover letter also provides the hiring manager with additional information about your skills and background.
- Mention who is referring you in the first paragraph. Include the person’s name and describe your connection with them.
- Explain how you know the person and how they came to be familiar with your qualifications and skills.
- Explain why they are recommending you. Did the person recommend that you apply for the particular position? Why is s/he endorsing you? What do you have to offer the company? What makes you think you would be a good fit for the company?
How to get a referral cover letter
Getting a referral cover letter is not easy, and should be handled with care. Here are a few steps you can use to get a referral for your next job application:
- First, determine if you know anyone working at the company. If you don’t know anyone working at the company, determine if you know someone who knows the hiring manager.
- Next, find out if this person has a good relationship with the hiring manager. Research the company structure to find out how they interact. Never use a referral who the hiring manager does not trust or respect, as this may hurt your chances.
- Then, ask the person referring you for permission to mention their name in your cover letter. This will ensure the referral is aware of your intentions. They may also give you helpful insight about the job and the company. They will also not be caught off guard if contacted by the hiring manager for recommendations. You should therefore never take the person referring you for granted.
- Finally, do not forget to send a copy of your cover letter to your referral so they can read what the hiring manager will read. Also, Thank them for their help.
Only one paragraph is needed when including a referral in a cover letter. Use the rest of your cover letter to expand on your skills & experience, including how you plan to contribute to the company’s growth.
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