When You’re Referred By a Friend

Great news!  There is a job opening at the company where your friend works.  They are willing to refer you, but you aren’t exactly sure how to go about it.  Here are some tips that will help:

Ask Your Friend for Guidance.   What is the best way for you to apply to the job?  Who should you talk to?  Should you mention your friend’s name in your cover letter?  As an insider, your friend is in the best position to guide you through these nuances.

Behave Professionally.  Never forget that your behaviour reflects on your friend.  If you are unprofessional or disrespectful, it could negatively impact your friend’s job.  Don’t make your friend regret referring you.

Stand on Your Own Feet.  Your friend can’t get the job for you.  By referring you, they have already given you a significant advantage.  Now you have to do the heavy lifting.  Research the company, study the job advertisement, and identify your relevant skills and experience.  It is up to you to persuade the employer that you are the perfect fit for the job.

Don’t Expect Special Consideration.  Getting a referral is amazing, but it is not a guarantee that you will get the job.  Do your best to impress the employer but also continue with your job search.  Even if you’re not offered a job, let your friend know that you appreciate their support.

When you are looking for a job, you need all the help you can get.  Since most employers prefer to hire through their network, if you can get a referral, you are almost halfway there.  Just remember to return the favour when you are happily employed and your friend is looking for work.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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