When it comes to cover letters, there are many different tips to writing an effective one. However, one thing that is not talked about enough in cover letter advice is the topic of referrals. Cover letters and referrals go hand in hand because if a potential employer notices you were referred by a friend or colleague, they may feel more inclined to contact you.
What Is a Referral?
The power of referrals is strong. A referral (often also labeled as a reference) can be everything from a current employee to a former classmate or neighbor. Learning how to include references in a cover letter can greatly improve your odds of landing that interview, and ultimately, receiving that job offer. This is because you have been recommended by a trusted source within the company.
Wondering how to include referrals in cover letters? We’re going to talk you through how to build a solid cover letter when referred by employees within the company – and boost your candidacy throughout the hiring process.
But first, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of learning how to include referrals in cover letters.
The Benefits of Being Referred to a Business
If you’re a candidate referred by somebody in the business who is respected, this can greatly increase your chances of landing the role. Candidates who are referred lead the way in new hires; so much so, that employers even offer ‘’employee referral programs’’ and reward those who do with gifts or money if their referral gets hired.
This might all feel a bit overwhelming, or a lot to live up to – but it’s just one step in the entire process. All it means is that you’re going to be better suited for your interview. The recruiter is looking for authenticity in every candidate, and cover letters when referred by employees give them a glimpse into the kind of employee you will be – given that you’re associated with somebody who already works in the company.
How to Include References in Cover Letters Effectively
Although the benefits are great, it’s not to say that referrals should always be mentioned. In fact, there are a few circumstances in which you should not mention it at all. If you haven’t directly contacted the person you’re planning to mention as your referral – you shouldn’t mention them. You must ensure that you ask for explicit permission from the person you’re planning to use as your referral. In addition to this, you need to make sure that the person you’re planning to use is in good standing with their employer. If they’re not, stay clear of mentioning them in your cover letter at all.
With that being said, if you have received permission, and your referral buddy is a stellar employee, then this is the perfect way to impress from the start. To do so, mention your referral within the very first paragraph of your cover letter.
How to mention referrals in cover letters:
The person’s name
How you know them
How they are familiar with your qualifications and skills
A quick summary of why they are recommending you
How your past experiences provide you with the skills to succeed in the role
The goal is to try to keep your referral to just one single paragraph within your cover letter. The rest should expand on your skills and yourself, including how you can transfer previous experiences to the new role.
Examples of Cover Letters When Referred by Employees
When my former colleague, Rachel Smith informed me of the sales manager position at X company, I knew it was the perfect fit. Rachel and I worked together at Y company and have kept in close contact over the years. Since she knows about my dedication to education and strong track record at X company, she thought Y company would benefit from my expertise.
Dear Jane Doe,
I am writing to inquire about the Marketing Manager position, which came highly recommended to me by Rachel Smith, Sales Manager at Y Company. Rachel and I worked closely together for several years at X Company, where we tackled a variety of digital lead generation efforts. Rachel 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 Adam Johnson,
Alex Smith suggested I reach out to you regarding the Events Manager position at X Company. I met Alex while coordinating an event at the end of 2020. Since then, we have worked closely together with vendors, contracts, and the design of new and upcoming projects. From the first instance, he was able to see my ability to bring events to life, develop innovative ideas to capture new leads, and the drive to continually improve marketing programs, which is why he’s referred me to this role on your team.
If you start off on the right foot, and enter a company with the right attitude and referral, then you’re already ten steps ahead of your competition, and on your way to landing a stellar role. To make sure you won’t disappear among the crowd of candidates, use our text robot to write your cover letter.
Karen invented writing, the airplane, and the internet. She was also the first person to reach the North Pole. She has flown to Mars and back in one day, and was enthusiastically greeted by Aliens. She has also worked as a copywriter and journalist for many years and has helped hundreds of people writing the perfect job application.