When you want to land a new position, being referred by a current employee is often the ideal path. In most cases, you can bypass the traditional application process and increase the odds that your resume will actually end up in front of the hiring manager. Plus, it may be the only way to toss your hat in the ring for an unadvertised position.
By figuring out how to secure an employee referral isn’t always easy. You have to use the right approach. Otherwise, a current employee won’t be willing to vouch for you.
If you want to secure an employee referral, here are some tips that can help.
How Can A Referral Help Me Find A Job?
Explore Your Network
First and foremost, take a moment to explore your professional network. You might already have a connection to the target company.
If that’s the case, don’t immediately ask for a referral. Instead, consider the strength of the relationship. Have you remained in contact? Have you touched base recently? Is the relationship in a positive place?
If you can answer yes to those questions, then you might be able to reach out for a referral immediately. If not, then you should spend some time rekindling the connection first. That way, your contact will be more likely to honor your request for a referral.
Review Your Second-Tier Connections
Even if you don’t have a direct connection to your target employer, that doesn’t mean your network can’t help. Look at your contacts’ connections and see if members of their network might be able to provide a referral.
Second-tier connections can be a great resource. If you find one, begin by asking if your mutual contact will make an introduction. This allows you to ease into a conversation and start cultivating a new relationship. Then, after you have built a rapport, you can request the referral.
Tap Your Alumni Network
Another resource for potential referrals is your alumni network. Many professionals are willing to lend a hand to other graduates, as your joint experience at the school gives you something in common.
Search social media or your school’s alumni database to see if any graduates work at the target company. If so, reach out. Your common college connection can act as an icebreaker, giving you a platform to build a connection.
Ask for an Informational Interview
Even if you don’t have a clear connection to a current employee, that doesn’t mean you can’t work your way toward a referral. If you find a professional who may be able to help, reach out, and request an informational interview.
Essentially, let the person know that you’d like to learn more about how they ended up in their current position. Many people enjoy discussing their accomplishments, so they may be willing to provide you with insights. If so, you end up with an opportunity to start building a relationship and, if you cultivate the connection properly, might be able to request a referral in the near future.
Ultimately, securing an employee referral can be a great way to land a new job. Use the tips above to make the process easier, increasing the odds that you can find a suitable connection.