What is a Job Referral? 4 Simple Ways to Ask for One

What is a Job Referral? 4 Simple Ways to Ask for One

Part of job hunting is building a strong network of individuals that can help you with your job search. Your network is people you can contact to ask for referrals and available openings. But it's not just limited to the people you know. You should also reach out to the people they know. That's where most of your job referrals will lie. But what is a job referral?

Job Referral: What It is and How Does It Work

Job seekers ask for a referral to get the attention of an employer. It can be anyone connected or has a connection to the company you're applying for. A job referral is your best bet to land a job.

The basic process of job referrals is simple. You ask someone to recommend you to the company you want to be part of. You can ask friends, coworkers, family members, or anyone you know. But you can also tap other people in your network. Those who relate to people you know, or other acquaintances are good prospects for referrals.

There's more than one way to find people who can root for you. Professional contacts can put in a good word for you. You can also use online platforms to check if you know anyone that works in your targeted company. Your college office is another great option when asking for a referral.

4 Simple Ways to Ask for a Job Referral

If you wish to change professions or industries, you should grow your network and ask for any referrals. Here are simple ways you can request job referrals.

  1. Be prepared for a refusal

    Whether it's your first time asking for a referral or not, it's important to remember that you can get rejected. Not every single person is able or willing to recommend you. For whatever reason, don't take it personally. You should remain hopeful and consider a backup plan.

  2. Consider who to ask

    There are many options on who to ask for a referral. You have friends, family, coworkers, etc. But you also need to think about your relationship with this person. Remember that a person you have a close relationship with is more likely to vouch for you. Someone who barely knows you may refuse to recommend you.

    That's why it's important to form genuine connections with people. People you have bonded with are those who'll be willing to put in a good word for you.

  3. Write a request

    A job referral can be your sure ticket to your next job. So, it's worth putting in the effort. Once you've chosen who to ask for a referral from, the next step is to write a request. Be professional about your request regardless of your closeness with that person.

    In your letter, express your interest in the position you're applying for. Include what drew your attention to the company.

  4. Check for a bonus program

    Some employers offer a bonus program. Employees get rewards when they bring in qualified applicants for the company. If this is the case, expect the person you're asking for a referral from to be more encouraged.

Closing in on Referrals

Requesting a job referral may be too much to ask. But it can pave the way for your professional growth. Remember that you have a secondary network of connections to rely on. They don't necessarily have to be someone close to you. It's a matter of finding the right people in your network and approaching them correctly. If you need help searching for your next job, visit Career.com.

Written by Career Specialist May 26, 2023
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