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How to Refer Someone for a Job (Full Steps, Benefits and Downfalls)

how to refer someone for a job

In the business world, it is essential to have a strong network of people who can help you when you need it. One way to do this is to learn how to refer someone for a job. It can be a great way to help out a friend or colleague and could potentially lead to a new opportunity. 

So, here are four steps that will help you successfully do just that!

What Is A Job Referral?

A job referral is when you recommend someone for a position at a company. This can be done by either sending an email or speaking to the hiring manager directly. It is essential to make sure that you only advertise someone who you think would be a good fit for the position. They need to have the skills and qualifications along with your personal recommendation. 

When Should You Refer Someone For A Job?

When Should You Refer Someone For A Job?

You can do it at any time! However, some of the best times to refer someone are when you hear about an opening at your company or at one of your contacts’ companies. 

Additionally, if you notice that someone in your network is looking for a new position, it can be helpful to recommend them to your boss even if there are no current job vacancies at your company; you never know what could happen!

Things To Consider Before Recommending Someone 

Before you give a recommendation, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. First, it is important to make sure that the person is qualified for the role. You should also consider whether or not you think the person would be a good fit for the company’s culture. Work ethic, communication skills, and other soft skills will also be important considerations when making a job referral.

How To Refer Someone For A Job – The 4 Steps To Doing It Successfully 

The First Step…

…to do this successfully is to do your research. This means learning about the role and the company (if it is not your current one) and then identifying people within your network who might be a good fit for the position. 

The Second Step 

The Second Step 

Draft an email or make a phone call to the hiring manager. When doing this, it is important to be both personal and professional. You should mention how you know the person you are suggesting and why you think they would be a great candidate. 

Contact the relevant person, such as HR, directly, so it can be helpful to do some digging around your company or the company you are contacting to learn more about who you should be speaking to. You might also be eligible to receive a bonus for referring someone who gets hired, so make sure to ask about this as well!

The Third Step 

Follow up after you have made the referral. This can be done by sending a quick email or making a quick phone call to check-in and see how things are going. Make sure to leave enough time for the hiring manager to review the candidate’s application, as this process can sometimes take a while.

The Fourth Step 

It is important to continue to support the person you recommended throughout their job search. This might mean connecting them with other people in your network who could potentially help them or simply providing words of encouragement along the way. 

How To Write A Great Referral Email?

Writing an excellent email is vital when you are recommending someone because it can help them stand out from the crowd and can help increase their chances of being hired. Start by addressing the hiring manager or employer directly. It is essential to make your message friendly but keep it formal as a sign of respect. 

Within your email, take the time to highlight why you are suggesting the person for the role and list examples, skills, and achievements they have obtained. Make sure to mention how you know them and attest to their personality, so the employer knows they will gel well with their current team. Finally, provide your contact information in case there are any questions.

Reference Email Example 

Dear Hiring Manager, 

I am writing to refer John Smith for the position of Marketing Manager we are currently advertising. I have collaborated with John in the past and have always been impressed by his skills and experience in marketing. 

John has a proven track record of success, having managed successful marketing campaigns for several companies in a range of industries. He is highly organized, with excellent communication skills and a strong work ethic, and I believe he would be a great fit for this position. 

If you would like to learn more about John and his qualifications, please feel free to contact me at any time. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 


Jane Doe.

How To Follow Up On A Referral

How To Follow Up On A Referral

When following up, there are a few things you need to know. Make sure to leave plenty of time before contacting the hiring manager, as this can vary depending on the position and the company, but a week or so should be adequate. 

In your follow up, be sure to express your continued interest in the position and reiterate why you think the person you referred would be an asset to the company. You may also want to provide additional information on the candidate or offer to answer any questions that hiring managers may have. 

Tips For Making A Successful Referral

  • To make a successful referral, it is important to be strategic and selective in who you represent. 
  • Another crucial factor is to have a good relationship with the person you are referring because this can give your referral added credibility. You should also be willing to advocate for the person and support them throughout their job search. 
  • Leave the person’s email, phone number and address, and a link to their CV, resume, or portfolio.
  • Double check their CV before you recommend them to make sure that everything is up to date and accurate.
  • If you have any doubts, do not refer them.

The Benefits Of Making Job Referrals 

The Benefits Of Making Job Referrals 

If you have not already been convinced, then here are some more reasons, such as the opportunity to help someone find their dream job and being rewarded for your efforts. Additionally, by referring someone you know and trust, you can increase their chances of getting hired and ultimately improve your own career prospects.

 Finally, putting in a good word is a great way to build strong professional connections and develop lasting relationships with other professionals in your field. With these benefits in mind, it is clear that making job referrals can be a powerful tool for success.

The Downfalls Of Making Job Referrals

While there are many benefits, there are also some potential downsides that should be considered. One common issue is that it can be difficult to match the right person with a specific opening, especially if you do not have a good understanding of their skills and experience.

 Additionally, they can sometimes lead to conflicts or uncomfortable situations with colleagues or hiring managers, especially if your preferred candidate is not chosen for a position.

Additional Info On Reference Writing

Take a look at a few guides we have on references, such as how to write a Character Reference 101, as well as the difference between Personal Vs Professional References; you might also want to know How To List References On A Resume and the Best Questions To Ask References, and How To Ask Someone To Be Your Reference.

If you’re looking for advice on letter writing, whether it be personal or professional, we recommend taking a look at How to Write Successful Letters of Recommendation, the Webster’s New World Letter Writing Handbook, the Perfect Phrases for Letters of Recommendation, and Writing Effective Letters of Recommendation, all available online in 2023.

We also found the Business Email: Write to Win. Business English & Professional Email Writing Essentials: How to Write Emails for Work, Including 100, the 4,001 Business, Sales & Personal Letters by WriteExpress: Stuck writing? You will love these letter-writing templates, for writing the ultimate business letter.

How To Refer Someone For A Job – Final Thoughts

Whether you are putting in a good word for a friend, colleague, or someone you have met at networking events, it is important to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of making job referrals.

 Ultimately, if you take the time to do your research and carefully match your recommendation with the right position, then you can help them find success in their job search while also enhancing your career prospects.

 While there are some potential challenges to this, with the right strategy and approach, they can be a powerful way to advance your career. You now know all about referring someone for a job, so why not put your skills to the test and start making some valuable professional connections today!

All the very best in being a great reference!

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About Linda Shepard

Linda is employed by one of the biggest employment agencies in San Francisco and has over 15 years of experience in finding her clients their dream job. She prides herself on being able to match the right person to the right position, which inevitably creates a great working relationship for the employee and the company moving forward.

When she isn't writing articles or working, she enjoys gardening, socializing, and going for long walks on the beach and in nature.

She lives with her boyfriend Carl and their cat, Fluffy.

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