How to ask for a referral and not feel awkward about it.

Jerrell Niu, an accomplished career coach, LinkedIn expert, resume designer, headhunter & executive recruiter, has recently joined Career Money Life’s supplier community. Read his article below on how to ask for a referral and increase your chances of getting hired. 

A referral from a current employee is the best way to get your resume a close look from the hiring manager.  It’s even better when the person referring you for a job can take a couple of minutes to personally mention you directly to the hiring manager.

Research shows that ‘referral’ hires not only stay longer in their jobs, but perform better over the long term. So anytime you can get your application tagged as a referral your chances of getting an interview sky rocket. And it’s easier than you think… oftentimes a phone call or email to HR or the hiring manager is all it takes.

So how can you get a referral for a job – start by checking LinkedIn for connections at the company. Search by company name, then click on the company you’re interested in. You’ll see a list of connections in your network who may be able to assist.


What’s the best way to ask for a referral? You can write a letter, send an email or message through LinkedIn, Facebook or other messaging app. Which way you choose, it’s better to ask in writing instead of over the phone. That way your connection has time to think over if and how they can refer you.


Firstly, don’t ask someone to refer you if you only just connected or never spoken before. That puts your potential referrer in an uncomfortable place, possible damaging your future relationship.

When you do ask, don’t say “Can you refer me?” or “Could you write a reference letter for me?“.

Instead, ask “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?” or “Do you feel you could give me a referral?” That way, your referrer has an out if they’re not comfortable providing a referral for you and you can be sure those who say yes will be enthusiastic about your performance and will write a positive letter or give you a strong endorsement.


Here’s an easy-to-adapt email template to use next time you need a referral.


Introduction to [contact name] at [company name]


Hi [contact name]

I hope you’re well. I am looking for opportunities in the [industry/job type] and discovered a position that looks like a great fit with your organisation: [position name with link to the role].

I noticed that you’re connected to [target name], who is the [job title] at [company name], and was hoping that you could introduce us. If you feel comfortable doing so, your referral would mean a lot to me.

I’ve included a few lines on me below, as well as my resume, to provide context. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can provide that might be helpful.

Thank you so much in advance for your help.

Kind regards

[Your name]


  • Make it easy to recommend you – Include a few lines that your contact can cut and paste, making you sound awesome, as well as a link to your Linkedin profile and always provide an up-to-date copy of your resume so your connection has current information to work with.
  • Tell them why – Your contacts should already know that you’re job hunting. Try our “Help Me Find A Job!” email template to enlist your network in your search.
  • Say thank you – Always thank them in advance and set a reminder to follow up with a thank you note in a week’s time.

View the original article here.

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