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Looking for a job can be a stressful time. It may be disheartening to check job boards, apply, and then never hear back. To beat this cycle, it’s best to use some different techniques to find employment, such as asking for a job referral. Statistics show that job referrals can be a great way to get hired, as most companies hire nearly 30 percent of referrals.

If you’re ready to step up your game when it comes to finding work, here are five things you should know about job referrals.


1. What is a job referral?

A job referral is a technique job seekers use to get extra attention from an employer. The process involves asking someone to recommend you to the employer. You’re asking that person to write a letter recommending you for a position at their company. It will outline why you are a perfect candidate for the job. While you would usually ask for a referral from someone you already know who works at the organization, you can ask anyone you know who has a connection to the employer – for example, the golfing buddy of the hiring manager.

2. Benefits of employee referrals

Employee referrals often enable a person to get to the interview stage. Companies like referrals from employees as it can save them time and money. Statistics show that employee referrals can save a company over $7,500 per new hire.

Additionally, employee referrals are usually high-quality candidates. Employees are not likely to recommend someone they would not want to work with or someone they don’t trust to do a good job. Their own reputation is on the line when they vouch for someone. So, employers are often more interested in interviewing and hiring candidates that have been referred. Moreover, employees who have been referred to the company are more likely to stay longer.

3. Does a referral guarantee an interview?

A job referral does not guarantee you’ll get the job or even an interview. But it can help your chances. Many hiring managers see hundreds of resumes, and anything you can do to set your application apart from the rest is worth a try. One study found that only six percent of applicants have a referral. However, these applications result in over a quarter of hires. So, while there are no guarantees, having a job referral can make your application stand out.

4. How to find someone to refer you

If you’re not sure who to ask, consider all the people you know and the connections they have. Can you approach a former mentor and request a referral? What about a college classmate? You’ll also need to consider your contact’s influence in the company. What weight does their opinion hold in the organization? Some job seekers even ask social media connections. The key is finding someone who knows you well enough to vouch for you.

Related: A Beginners Guide to Networking

5. How to ask for a job referral

How you approach someone and ask for a job referral depends on your relationship. If you know them quite well and are very comfortable and casual with each other, you can use a relaxed approach to ask them if they could refer you. However, if you don’t know them very well or only professionally, you’ll want to be more formal in your request. Either way, you should make your request in writing. Let them know what position you’re interested in and why you believe you’re an ideal candidate for the job. Be sure to give them a graceful way to decline. For example, instead of directly asking for a referral, ask if they feel comfortable enough to refer you. In this way, if your connection doesn’t feel comfortable or that they know you well enough to refer you, you can maintain your relationship without too much awkwardness. After sending the message, you can follow up a few days later with a phone call. Don’t forget to thank them for their time and help.


Job hunting can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you want to give your application a boost, consider asking for a job referral. Consider someone who knows you well enough to vouch for you at their company. Hiring managers are more likely to review your resume and qualifications if you’ve been given an employee referral.

At AOLCC, we’re dedicated to helping our graduates use their new skills in their dream jobs. You can read some of our graduates’ success stories.

With 50 campuses across the country and more than 30 diploma and certificate programs, AOLCC is the best choice for those wanting to take their careers to the next level. Why not contact an admissions advisor and find out if AOLCC is the right move for you.