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How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter (With Examples)
- How To Sign A Cover Letter
- Salary Requirements In Cover Letter
- Referral In Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Body
- Use Dear Sir Or Madam?
- Use Mrs. Or Ms.?
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Having a referral by someone who is already employed at the company you’re applying to can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Mentioning a referral in your cover letter is one of the ways to do this.
To help you write the best referral in your cover letter, we’ll go over how to include a reference in a cover letter, provide some referral cover letter examples, and some benefits to being referred.
Make sure you have a reliable referral that is in good standing with a company, and that they know they are being included before putting down a referral.
Candidates that are referred also tend to feel more of an obligation to the company, their reference, and their team, allowing them to get up to speed more quickly and adapt to the new culture and workplace more efficiently.
Writing a cover letter with referral will allow you to highlight the key skills you can bring to the position and provide specific examples of why you are the best fit for this job.
What is a referral cover letter?
How to mention a referral in your cover letter, referral cover letter examples, who to ask for a referral, the benefits of being referred, referral in your cover letter faq, final thoughts, expert opinion.
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A referral cover letter is an application document for a potential job opportunity that mentions a mutual contact you may share with the hiring manager or someone in the company. This connection can be an old colleague, a friend, or a networking acquaintance who likely works at the company you are applying to.
When done effectively, you can drop their name in your cover letter to emphasize how your skills and abilities align with the job and how you’ve worked with your referral in the past. You can mention specific projects and details that you know this person may be able to vouch for.
Your cover letter is the first thing your employer or hiring manager is likely to see, so use it as your moment to shine. This document will allow you to provide additional details about your education, qualifications, skills, and work ethic. You can point to specific projects and challenges you may have experienced and discuss how you overcame them and how those abilities translate to the job you are applying for.
When mentioning a referral in your cover letter, make sure your referral knows you are including them before, and then mention their name in the letter and explain why they are recommending you. Here is a more detailed list of how to add reference in cover letter:
Make sure your referral knows. Mentioning a referral in your cover letter is appropriate when you have directly contacted the person you’re planning to mention as your referral. This could be someone you contacted or someone that contacted you. It can even be someone who is not your contact on LinkedIn or other networks, but you’ve reached out to them, and they’ve agreed to be a referral.
However, in instances where you have not asked for explicit permission from the person you’re planning to use as your referral or this person is not in good standing with their employer, you should stay clear of mentioning them in your cover letter .
Mention who is referring you. The purpose of the cover letter is to impress from the start . Mention your referral within the first paragraph of your note. To do this effectively, include:
The person’s name
How you know them
How they are familiar with your skills and qualifications
Explain why they are recommending you. You can give the hiring manager a quick summary of why they are recommending you and how your past experience gives you the skills required to do the job well.
Keep it short. Try to keep your referral to one single paragraph in your cover letter. The rest of your letter should expand more on you and your skills, including how the things you have learned in previous work environments are transferable to your new role .
Send a copy of your cover letter to your referral. The last thing you should do is send a copy of your cover letter to your referral so they can read it over. Doing this is a nice gesture and allows them to know what you are saying about them. Be sure to also thank them for their help.
We’ve included some examples of how it may look to include a referral in your cover letter.
Cover letter with referral example
Dear Angela Morris, I am writing to inquire about the Marketing Director position, which came highly recommended to me by Bill Jeffries, Vice President of Marketing at Apple, Inc. Bill and I worked closely together for several years at Nabisco, where we tackled a variety of event coordination and digital lead generation efforts. Bill believes my marketing experience and skill for developing memorable events can have a profound impact on the marketing team and organization as a whole.
Dear Larry Smith, Bill Jeffries suggested I reach out to you regarding the Marketing Director position at Apple, Inc. I met Bill while coordinating a conference at the end of last year. We worked closely together with vendors, contracts, and design. He was able to see my ability to bring booths to life, develop innovative ideas to capture new leads, and drive to continually improve marketing programs, which is why he’s referred me to this role on your team.
Dear John Riley, Tom Johnson suggested I contact you regarding the Customer Representative Position at XYZ Company. I worked with Tom last year when we worked together at ABC Corp. Working closely together allowed him to see my ability to connect with others and drive sales. This is why he referred me to this role and your team.
Getting a referral when you don’t know someone well can sometimes be tricky. But there are a variety of ways to be referred for a job . A connection at the company you’re applying for might inquire whether you’re interested in exploring new job opportunities. You may have an old connection on LinkedIn that you forgot about.
LinkedIn is a great tool to explore whether you know anyone at the company you are applying to. You can easily see if you know an existing connection or if one of your contacts knows someone at the company currently.
Once you choose someone to provide a referral , be sure to reach out to them before applying for the job. Ask if they are willing to give you a referral for the job. Even if you assume this person will build your credibility with the hiring manager, it’s important to check with them first. You don’t want to bombard someone at the last minute, and you certainly don’t want to tell the hiring manager that a person has vouched for you when they actually haven’t.
To do this, you can send them an email or a letter asking them for a referral. Similar to a reference letter , this will give the person you are asking a chance to look over the requirements and think about how they can best help you. This also gives them an opportunity to opt out of a referral in case they don’t feel comfortable.
Being a candidate who is referred by someone respected in the company is a tremendous benefit for you as a job seeker such as an expedited hiring process or the ability to highlight key skills. Here are some more benefits of being referred.
It can quicken the hiring process. Even if a company doesn’t have a formal employee referral program , the human resources (HR) department typically welcomes referrals. They help to expedite the hiring process and ensure that strong candidates fill open spots on teams.
Allows the interviewer to see you in a different light. When you are referred for a job, it might feel like a lot to live up to. However, if you view it as a step up during your interview process , you will be better suited for your interview. Ultimately, having a candidate referred gives the hiring manager an authentic glimpse into the kind of employee you will be and will help them relate your experience to the position.
A better understanding of the company culture. The person who referred you will likely be asked to provide insights into how you will fit into their company culture . However, there is no need to worry because the person who referred you would not have vouched for you if they didn’t think you were the right fit for this job.
Being able to highlight key skills. Putting this referral in your cover letter will allow you to highlight the key skills you can bring to the position and provide specific examples of why you are the best fit for this job. Cover letters give you another area to share additional details that your resume may not include.
Should you mention a referral in a cover letter?
Yes, you should mention a referral in your cover letter. Mentioning a referral in a cover letter helps to emphasize how your skills and abilities align with the job and how you’ve worked with your referral in the past. The best way to do this is to mention specific projects and details how you know the person and how they can vouch for you.
Who should be a referral for a job?
A referral should be someone you know such as an old colleague, former classmate, or someone from your network who works at the company you are applying for. The person who is referring you should be a current employee and someone you trust. They should be able to help highlight your strengths and abilities.
How do you mention a referral in your cover letter?
To mention a referral in your cover letter be sure to mention by name the person who referred you and your relationship to the. This should be a person who is a current employee who can highlight your skills and abilities. Your referral in your cover letter should be kept short and to the point.
If you come into a company with the right type of referral and a person who can actively vouch for your work ethic, you’ll already place yourself ahead of the competition. Even if you have a vast network and land your dream job, continue to network . Ensure that you always depart work environments on good terms with colleagues and managers. You never know who you will cross paths with later in your career journey: the broader your network, the better chance you will have to name-drop in the future.
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How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter
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“My colleague XXX recommended that I contact you directly about this position ” is an easy way to name drop your referral in the cover letter. To strengthen the statement, add something about the relationship of the referral to the company.
University of South Florida – Cover Letter Do’s & Don’ts
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Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.
Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.
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Cover Letter Referred by a Contact Examples
Cover Letters and Email Samples to Use for a Referral
One of the surest ways to grab an employer’s attention is to get a referral for the job . In fact, PayScale research shows that one-third of workers received a referral for their current position. And no wonder—if you were a hiring manager, wouldn’t you rather hire someone who comes recommended than take a chance on a stranger?
But simply getting a referral isn’t enough.
To maximize the benefits, you have to make sure that the hiring manager knows that you’ve been referred.
The best way to do that is to mention it in your cover letter. It’s the ideal place to share your referral’s name and the context you know them in.
Tips for Cover Letters That Get the Hiring Manager’s Attention
- Be professional. Your cover letter should be written as a formal business letter, whether it’s sent as an attachment, via mail, or email. An attachment or mailed letter should begin with your contact information, the date, and the hiring manager’s contact information. An email cover letter should include the referral in the subject line of the message.
- Start on the right foot. Begin your letter with a salutation followed by the hiring manager’s name. Mention your referral in the first paragraph of your cover letter, with a brief explanation of your connection.
- Show your interest. Next, mention what interests you about the position, and why you’re qualified for the job. Let your passion show. Employers want to hire candidates who are enthusiastic about the job.
- Say thank you. Make sure you thank the person for their time and consideration, and use an appropriate cover letter closing , followed by your signature (for a printed letter) and typed full name. In an email, your contact information would follow your typed name.
- Use cover letter samples. Your cover letter may be the first thing the hiring manager sees so you need to make a good impression. Review these cover letter samples for a variety of scenarios including a follow-up letter, inquiry letters, job/industry specific sample cover letters, cold contact, and referral letter samples. Be sure to customize your letter for every job application.
- Proofread, edit, and test before sending. Your final product should be typo-free and professionally formatted before you send it to the hiring team.
If you’re sending your cover letter via email, send yourself a test message before you email the employer.
That way, you can be sure that your formatting holds up in transmission and that there are no funny gaps or missing words in the final copy.
Cover Letter Example With a Referral
This is an example of a cover letter with a referral. Download the referral cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Cover Letter Example With a Referral (Text Version)
June Amour 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 email@example.com
September 1, 2018
Raymond Maximillian Sales Director Rubymax, Inc. 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Maximillian,
I am writing to express my interest in the International Sales position open at Rubymax, Inc. I am very familiar with your products and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about how I could help increase your International presence.
My colleague Joe Smith recommended that I contact you directly about this position. Joe and I have worked closely in the industry for many years, and he thought that I would be a good match for Rubymax.
My ten years of experience marketing widgets internationally have given me an overall knowledge of the business, directly applicable to your interest in increasing sales abroad.
In my previous position as International Sales Rep with ZQR Company, I successfully increased our revenue in each of my territories by over 50 percent within my first year. In the five years I spent at ZQR, I helped to establish sales bases in an additional five countries, while continuing to increase revenue in all.
Please take the time to review my resume. I believe that I am an excellent candidate for the position you have advertised, and would very much like the opportunity to meet with you discuss what I have to offer Rubymax, Inc. I truly appreciate your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Email Cover Letter With a Referral
Subject: Referred by Sloane Greene
Dear Ms. Future,
I am writing to you in regard to the position of billing manager that you have posted on your company website. I worked with Sloane Greene in the billing department of XYZ Enterprises for several years before taking a hiatus to raise my children.
When I mentioned I was returning to the workforce, she recommended I contact you about this position, as she felt that I would be an excellent fit for your organization.
At XYZ, I worked closely with Sloane to convert our billing system to handle the increase in sales volume the company was experiencing. I oversaw the seamless transition when our deliverables doubled in less than 6 months. I have successfully managed both small and large billing departments but am most comfortable in an environment like that at your company. I feel that my experience would be an asset to Bright Enterprises and would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you regarding the open position.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Beth Maple firstname.lastname@example.org 123-456-7890
If You Have a Referral, Say So Right Up Front: Include it in your cover letter and be sure to feature it in the first paragraph.
Use Cover Letters Samples to Guide Your Writing: But be sure to customize your cover letter for the specific job.
Be Professional: Use business-letter format and be sure to proofread your final draft before sending.
Say Thank You: Thank the hiring manager for their time and be sure to send thank-you notes to people who give you a referral, as well as to interviewers once you’ve met with them.
PayScale. " The Impact of Job Referrals ." Accessed Feb. 25, 2020.
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How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter
- Cover Letter Tips
A cover letter is a great way to complement your resume. A well-written resume and cover letter may be of interest to a potential employer. It is especially significant if your area has a lot of candidates. Therefore, job searchers can use professional resume editing service to boost their chances of landing a job.
You might include a reference in your cover letter to help it become more effective. In 2017, PayScale surveyed 53,000 employees, and it turned out that 1/3 of respondents sent referral cover letters. While a referral is not necessary for your cover letter, it can nonetheless catch a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s attention.
We have already talked about cover letter do’s and dont’s earlier. For now, we suggest that you focus on referrals in cover letters.
What is a Referral?
A reference or a referral is a recommendation from a current or former employee of the company where the applicant wishes to work. Companies themselves sometimes organize referral programs to attract new qualified personnel. It means that employees can bring in new professionals with whom they have had previous favorable experiences.
A reference cover letter is one in which you refer to a contact who is familiar with hiring managers and recruiters and is connected with that organization. A referral can be beneficial when looking for a job because it helps substantiate your resume and cover letter facts.
Hiring managers and recruiters might benefit from referrals in filling open positions. Applicants should give a reference that verifies the abilities that the organization is looking for. In addition, a cover letter referred by an employee can increase interest and confidence in the candidate.
Is it Necessary to Add a Reference in a Cover Letter?
Referral cover letters are helpful in various situations. For instance, if a job seeker has a contact who recommended them to apply to the company, the job seeker can drop their name in a cover letter.
You can always include a referral from a former colleague, manager, or professor in your cover letter if they are familiar with the organization’s hiring manager or recruiter. Talent acquisition managers, in turn, are always interested in having referrals in your paper.
Read More: Career Change Cover Letter Writing Tips
How to Mention a Referral in a Cover Letter?
We’ve outlined four procedures that will help you correctly mention a referral in your cover letter:
- Introduce your reference contact.
Begin your cover letter by mentioning a reference by their full name. A hiring manager or recruiter must establish reliability by verifying your relationship with references. Fill in valuable and concise information about this person so the hiring manager can know the background.
- Describe your relationships with the referral.
Then explain your connection to the referral. A hiring manager or recruiter can use your link to the reference to assess reliability. Furthermore, the explanation can demonstrate your ability to have a beneficial impact on people as well as your capacity to build meaningful relationships.
- Explain why they think you’d be a good fit for the job.
Your referral should provide reasons why you can be of service to this company. It will reveal your strengths, which specific situations can bolster. Thus, hiring managers and recruiters can consider a job offer if they know how you react in stressful situations.
- Describe your experience with referral.
The final step in establishing credibility with recruiters and hiring managers is to describe the experience with a referral. However, it would help if you highlighted particular facts rather than generic or clichéd phrases. Nonetheless, the purpose of a referral is to make it apparent to hiring managers or recruiters who you are and what you do.
What is the Best Way to Acquire a Referral?
We will share three steps to get a referral:
- Identify possible references
Determine who might be able to assist you. It should be someone who either works for the organization or knows the hiring manager or recruiter somehow. Your reference should be well-versed in your abilities.
- Obtain your reference’s permission.
After you’ve identified a person who could be a good referral for your cover letter, contact them and ask if they’d be willing to assist you.
More importantly, ask if you can include their name in the document. It’s not only a tribute but also a sign of the referral’s trust in you. Plus, if you let them know ahead of time, they’ll be prepared if recruiters contact them.
- Send a copy of your covering letter before submitting it.
Before sending your cover letter, you should check it with the referral. Check whether they concur with the statements. It will help them prepare before speaking with the hiring manager or recruiter about your candidacy.
How Should I Ask for a Reference?
Before you begin writing a referral, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Respectfully request a recommendation.
Reduce the possibility of rejection by politely asking the person to be your reference. You can begin by explaining the desired position or company, then effortlessly talk about the referral.
- Give your possible reference information about the position.
When asking for a reference, be specific about the position you’re going for and the qualifications they’re looking for. It will show a referral the characteristics the employer is searching for. Knowing this will make it easier for the referral to highlight your specific strengths.
- Ascertain that the referral is capable of taking responsibility.
The person who refers you must believe that your skills are compatible with the company’s needs. If someone does not know your skills, they are reluctant to take responsibility and recommend you. That is why you should first find someone familiar with your skills and abilities and ask if they would recommend you.
Referral Cover Letter Sample
Finally, here’s an example of a well-written referral cover letter:
If you have someone who can actively vouch for your work ethic, you’ll already be ahead of the competition. Consider whether you have people in your business network who can assist you.
ResumeEdge is happy to be at your service in case you’ve decided to create a cover letter with references. Our cover letter writing service offers collaboration with professional writers to develop catchy cover letters.
10 Cover Letter Do’s and Don’ts
Is It Necessary To Write A Cover Letter?
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How to write a Cover Letter – Guide with Examples
Not every job application requires a cover letter, but every job application can benefit from one.
Along with a customised CV , which should include a strong personal profile, the cover letter lets you add specific information that puts you right at the heart of the job you are applying for. That means it’s really important to get it right.
Writing a winning cover letter is a skill. If you’re unsure what to include, our guide will help you:
What is a cover letter and why is it still important?
How to research and plan your cover letter.
- The basic format of a good cover letter
How long should a cover letter be?
- Address the hiring manager
- Use the job description
- How to market yourself in your cover letter
- How to structure and write your cover letter, with examples
- Use a ‘cold’ cover letter to approach a company you’d like to work for
- How to send your cover letter
A cover or covering letter is a brief, single-page document that accompanies your CV when you apply for a job.
Its purpose is to introduce yourself and to highlight your key skills, particularly those that are relevant to the job you are applying for. It’s your chance to showcase both your personality and suitability.
It’s important to remember that the cover letter is independent of your CV – in other words, it shouldn’t be just the same information presented differently. It needs to position you as the right person for the job by highlighting skills that you have that are essential for the role. For this reason, your cover letter should be tailored to every application.
Some recruiters will receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a role, so your cover letter is your chance to stand out from the crowd and it’s an essential component of the application process.
Download our cover letter template
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” is a saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and it’s true. Planning is key to the success of any endeavour, and it’s certainly true for your cover letter and your CV .
These are the important things you should research before you begin writing your cover letter:
- Who will be receiving and reading your cover letter? This will likely depend on the size of the company doing the hiring – if it’s a small organisation, it may well be the CEO or owner of the business. For a larger company, it will most likely be the hiring manager or the head of HR.
- What skills and experience are listed in the job description? What skills do you have that this role calls for? Do you have other skills that you believe will be of benefit to the company and position? Put those in your cover letter and then detail why you think they’re relevant and important.
- The company and its culture. Any reputable company will have some form of online presence where you can do this research. If they don’t have their own website (which is highly unlikely) then they will most certainly have some social presence: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are good places to check.
- The company’s competitors and market position. This information too can usually be found online. Some organisations have obvious competitors – Nike and Adidas, for example – but it won’t always be this obvious. There are free trials available with tools such as Semrush , Ahrefs that can help you identify a company’s competition.
- The sector and any recent news or trends. Which sector or industry do they operate in? Do some online searches for news, using Google or any other search engine with a ‘news’ results tab.
- The organisation’s aims for the coming year and beyond. This information can be trickier to find. You could start on LinkedIn and search for key employees; those with CxO roles may well share goals, roadmaps and more on their profiles.
Building up a good body of information about both the company and its industry will help you tailor your cover letter for each company you apply to. It also shows your passion for the job and sector.
The basic format of a cover letter
Every cover letter you write should be tailored to the specific job role or company you’re applying for, but there is a basic format to follow for every cover letter:
- Paragraph one – The introduction
- Paragraph two – The by-line
- Paragraph three – Show your knowledge
- Paragraph four – Conclusion
Brief, probably less than one side of A4 – 250-300 words maximum.
A cover letter is important but remember, it’s an accompaniment to your CV , not your actual CV.
Address the hiring manager or recruiter
Just like your CV, every cover letter you submit should be written to match the job role you are applying for, and it should be comprehensive and, if possible, personalised:
- Personalise it – find the name of the hiring manager or the person most likely to receive or read your application in the first instance. Addressing a named person shows that you’re thorough and thoughtful in your approach. Sign off with “Yours sincerely”.
- If you don’t have that information and can’t specify a name – then start the letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” – but remember your grammar and sign off your letter with “Yours faithfully”.
You should also avoid tired and clichéd buzzwords .
Use the job description to tailor your covering letter
This is possibly the most vital aspect of the cover letter. If you don’t take the opportunity to state that you have the necessary skills and experience, you may as well not bother!
Detail your skills and provide examples of how you have used them in the past to succeed in your own goals and those of the company you were working for. Mirror some of the phrases used in the job requirements list.
You will most likely need to use different skills and examples for each cover letter, as each job role will require different skills and abilities.
Market yourself in your cover letter
A bit like your Personal Profile, your cover letter is your chance to sell yourself to the people doing the hiring. There are several good ways to sell yourself, and having done your research, they should be easy to include:
- Demonstrate knowledge – of the role, the company, and the sector in which they operate
- Outline your skills, qualifications and goals – any that are relevant to the role and company
- Highlight your social and interpersonal skills – talk about the clubs and/or societies you are a member of, any volunteering you do – anything that shows your ideals and what you enjoy doing in your spare time
How to structure and write a cover letter
These days it’s unusual for cover letters or CVs to be sent as physical copies, but digital correspondence should still be written in formal business language.
There are several ways to format a business letter, but these are the elements you must include:
- Your address and contact details, including a telephone number (mobile or landline) and email address
- The company’s address
- The opening greeting: Dear xyz
Here’s how it might look:
[Date] [Your address line 1] [Address line 2] [Address line 3] [Your phone number and email] [Company name] [Company address line 1] [Company address line 2] Dear [Name or Sir or Madam ],
Cover letter paragraph 1: The introduction
The position you are interested in and why you are applying for it – a brief introductory passage that covers three things:
- Why you’re writing the letter
- What job role you are applying for
- How you found out about the job
“I am writing to apply for the role of [job title] in response to an advert I saw on [name of job site]. Please find my CV attached.”
Cover letter paragraph 2: The by-line
This paragraph should be all about you and detail the skills you possess that are relevant to the role, particularly those that have been identified in the job advert or description. Be careful not to reproduce your CV. Mirror phrases and skills that are mentioned in the job advert or description.
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Cover letter paragraph 3: Show your knowledge
This is where you can demonstrate the research that you did before applying. Show that you know what sector they operate in and what they do, and demonstrate why you wish to work there, how you could make a difference, and how you align with the company’s ideals, culture and core values.
In short: show that you’re the perfect candidate!
Cover letter paragraph 4: Conclusion
Your cover letter, the masterpiece that it now is, should end with a clear call to action. You want to secure an interview for this position, so mention that and let them know when you’re available for a callback or contact to arrange it. Don’t be demanding, just be confident and clear. If you plan to follow up with a phone call, then let them know. If you’re not comfortable doing this then end your letter with:
“I look forward to hearing from you.”
Thank them for taking the time to read your letter, and sign off with:
“Yours sincerely [ or faithfully if you don’t know their name ] , [Your Name]”
Use a covering letter as a speculative approach to a company you’d like to work for
Have you noticed a company that you’d really like to work for, but they’re not currently advertising any open positions? In this case, a ‘ cold-contact cover letter ‘ makes a great speculative application letter. Here’s what to include in that cover letter:
- Address the letter formally – Try to get hold of the name of the hiring manager; check their website or call the main number and ask. If not, then address it as “Dear Sir or Madam”. You could alternatively address it to the CEO or Managing Director – once they see it is a speculative application, they will probably pass it to the relevant person within the company.
- Your reason for writing – As there is no vacancy that you are aware of, you should explain why you are writing and what attracted you to the company.
- Mention any contacts – If a friend or acquaintance works at the company and has suggested or agreed that you should apply, then mention them by name and job title.
- Detail your skills and experience – The body of the speculative application should highlight your skills and experiences and provide examples of how you have used them in previous jobs. Then state once more why you’re interested in working for the company; talk about the sector or industry they operate in and show that you have done your research.
- Say what you would like – Which area or department of the company are you interested in? Where would you like to work – sales, marketing, front-of-house, for example?
- Conclusion – Close the cover letter by thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in hearing from them about any job vacancies that might arise.
Remember, each speculative cover letter should be unique.
Send your cover letter
Because you are almost always going to be sending your cover letter online, we recommend that you attach it to your email in a .pdf format. This way, any computer will be able to view the file, and all your formatting will be preserved.
If you need to send your cover letter as the actual body text of your email, your approach will need to be slightly different. First, make sure you format the subject line of your email like so:
Application for [Job Title] – [Your Name]
If you were given a reference number, include that in the subject line as well. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to think about the layout of your letter. The paragraphs can be the same as an original cover letter, but you can remove the addresses, date and signature.
If you’re applying for a job via a job board, you can sometimes afford to scale down your cover letter to its key components.
Check out this example cover letter:
Hi [Name], I am interested in applying for the current vacancy you have for a [job title]. In my current role as [role title] with [company name], I am responsible for [insert relevant experience relating to job advert] but am currently looking to make a step up into a more challenging role with a reputable company who can offer career growth. I am currently on a notice period of [notice period] and can interview immediately. Kind regards, [Name] [Phone number] [Email]
By following these covering letter guidelines and examples you’ll be ahead of many other applicants applying for roles, and one step nearer to securing an interview.
Try to have fun with it – we wish you the best of luck!
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Related Career Advice articles
How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter?
Including a referral in your cover letter can help get your resume noticed by the hiring manager. It shows that you have a personal connection to someone who can vouch for your skills and abilities. A referral from a colleague or past employer can be a great way to get your foot in the door with a new company.
It’s been shown that referral hires are more likely to stick around at their new job, have higher performance ratings, and are often paid higher salaries than non-referral hires.
The benefits of including a referral in your job application are well worth the effort it takes to obtain one. In fact, according to a report from Jobvite, 59% of job seekers say referrals are their preferred way to find jobs online.
But how do you know whom to ask for a referral? And how do you include one in your cover letter? This guide will walk you through how to ask for and include a referral so you can land that interview.
What is a Referral Cover Letter?
A referral cover letter is a letter that you send to a potential employer with your resume. It is a recommendation from someone within the company that can act as a personal endorsement for you and your job application. The letter includes the name of someone who has referred you to the company. This can be a friend, family member, or professional contact. The referral cover letter is a way to get your foot in the door and stand out from the competition.
Why Should You Use A Referral in your Cover letter?
A referral gives you credibility, as it’s basically an insider saying that you are qualified for the position and would be a good fit. People trust recommendations from people they know, so this person essentially vouching for you makes a huge difference.
According to a recent study from the University of Minnesota, including a referral in your cover letter can dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview . The survey found that applicants who included referrals within their letters were interviewed at twice the rate of those who didn’t include referrals.
There are a few other reasons why you might want to include a referral in your cover letter.
- It can help you stand out from the crowd. When you have a personal connection to someone who can vouch for your skills, it shows that you’re serious about the job and that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
- It also makes it easier for the hiring manager to trust you since they can see that you have the endorsement of someone they know.
- If a referral is a “known name” in the industry, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
- It can help you pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) screening software.
- Including a referral in your cover letter can also help you build relationships with the people you’re applying to work with. When you make a good impression on your referral, they might be more likely to refer you to other opportunities in the future.
Is name dropping in a cover letter OK?
Name-dropping does not come easily to everyone, but a referral cover letter is one place where it can work in your favor. Referrals are powerful because they involve an introduction from a known and respected individual. When you can name-drop a referral, it gives the hiring manager an additional reason to trust your qualifications and consider you for the job.
It’s important to be subtle when you’re name-dropping in your cover letter. You don’t want to come across as arrogant or entitled. Instead, focus on how your referral can vouch for your skills and abilities.
How to Ask for a Referral?
You have spent a lot of time perfecting your resume and tweaking your cover letter to match the job description. You have done everything you can think of to make sure that when recruiters read your documents they will be impressed by what they see, but there is one more thing that you need to consider: who are you going to ask for a referral?
1) Choose Professional Contacts over Personal:
When you can, choose someone who is a professional contact, not a personal one. You want to make sure that whoever you ask to be your referral has experience working with you or working with your work, so they can speak about the kind of contributions you make and the results those contributions produce.
2) Check with your Contact before dropping their name in a Cover letter:
Whoever it is, definitely check in with them before moving forward. At the very least, give them a heads up so they aren’t caught off guard if indeed that company does call them for any reason. Ideally, you will ask them if they would be comfortable giving you a referral and then send them a copy of your resume and cover letter so they can be prepared for what to expect if/when called upon by the company.
3) Search through Networking Platforms:
If you don’t have any connections in the company for the job you are applying for then you can use a mutual contact. A mutual contact is someone that you know and the hiring manager knows. You can do this by searching for them on LinkedIn, search through Facebook, Company Website other Professional Forums the contact may be present.
4) Reach out to them via Email:
The best way to ask for a referral is by email . You should explain why you are contacting them and why you want them to refer you, if possible. For example: “I worked on your team last year and our group won an award.” It’s also important to thank them for their time.
5) Apply via an employee referral program?
If you’re applying to a large company, they may have an employee referral program. This is a program where employees can refer candidates for open positions within the company. If you’re lucky enough to know someone who works for the company, be sure to ask them if they can refer you for a position as it is beneficial for both of you.
How To Include A Referral In Your Cover Letter?
When you’re including a referral in your cover letter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1) Include the Referral Information in Your Opening Paragraph
One way to include a referral in your cover letter is to use it as part of your opening paragraph.
2) Explain How they know you
The person who referred you will likely have given the hiring manager some context about how they know you. But if they haven’t, or if your connection is weak (you met them once at an event), it’s important to explain how you know each other.
3) Why are they providing this Recommendation
Include a few sentences about why they are qualified to speak about you. For example, if a former manager is recommending you for a position, mention this fact, as well as what your relationship has been like and how long they have known you.
Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph with a referral :
“I am interested in the Marketing Manager position at XYZ Company. I was referred to the position by my friend, Sarah, who knows someone at XYZ Company. Sarah has told me great things about the company and she thinks I would be a perfect fit for the position. I have attached my resume and the job listing to this email. I would appreciate if you could keep me in mind for the position. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Asking for a referral can help you get your resume noticed and land the job you want. Just be sure to follow these tips and examples so that you can do it correctly.
Examples of adding a referral to your cover letter:
Referral cover letters are structured similarly to application cover letters, but they usually include an additional paragraph that explains how you were referred to the position by someone in your network. Below, you’ll find examples of referral cover letters that indicates who the applicant was referred by, along with tips for writing a referral cover letter sample.
**Adding a referral in the body of your cover letter:**
“Dear Ms. [last name], [Referral source] recommended I reach out to you about the position of [job title]. I have a great deal of experience [briefly describe your relevant experience] and would love to work with you and your team. I am available for an interview at any time that is convenient for you, and I can be reached by phone at [your phone number], or by email at [your email address].”
In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should mention a mutual connection or referral who suggested that you reach out. Mentioning this person (or people) upfront will give you an instant connection with the hiring manager.
“I’m reaching out because [Name of Mutual Acquaintance] suggested I connect with you. She knew me from my work with [Company Name or Project], and she mentioned that you’re looking for someone to fill your opening for a [Name of Position].- “I am interested in the position of Social Media Manager at GHI company. I was referred to this position by my friend, Tina, who is the Social Media Manager at GHI company.”
Mention the referral in your first paragraph. Use words like “encouraged,” “recommended” or “referred.”
“I was encouraged by [referrer’s name] to apply for the [position name] role at [company name].”
“I was referred by [referrer’s name] to apply for the [position name] role at [company name]. They told me that you’re looking for a [skill-set/role-specific knowledge].”
I am writing to apply for the position of [position] at [company]. I was referred to the role by my friend and former colleague, [Name], who is currently working in the [department] at [Company]. I understand you are currently seeking candidates to fill this position.
I have been following company developments for several years, and I believe that my experience as a [job title] would be beneficial to your team.”
Referral Cover Letter Sample (Text Version)
I am reaching out to you in regard to the [job title] position with [Company name]. I believe my experience in [industry] and role as a [role title] is a good match for this position.
[Name of contact, mutual friend, or colleague] recommended that I contact you and submit my resume because they know I am interested in finding a new opportunity with an outstanding company such as yours. I have been working in [industry] for the last [x years/months], and have developed many of the skills necessary for the role of [job title].
I look forward to hearing from you to discuss how my experience fits your needs. Please feel free to reach me at [phone number] or via email at [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Referral Cover Letter Email
Dear [Recruiter Name]
I’m writing to apply for the [position name] position advertised on LinkedIn. I met [name] at an event last month, and they suggested I reach out to you directly. We discussed my background in [field], and how it would make me a great fit for this role.
If you have any questions about my experience or candidacy, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll follow up with you next week to see if you need any additional information from me, or if we can arrange a time for us to talk.
Email Subject Line for sending a Referral Cover Letter :
- Referral from [Kevin Rogers – VP Marketing] for Marketing Manager Position.
- [Kevin Rogers – VP Marketing] referred me to you for the [Marketing Manager] position.
Tips for Writing a Referral Cover Letter
- Including a referral at the top of your cover letter can help you get noticed by hiring managers and make it more likely that you’ll be granted an interview.
- Make sure to mention your referral’s name and how you know them, such as “I worked with [name] at [company].”
- Include a few sentences about why your referral thinks you’d be a good fit for the role and ask if they’d be willing to provide a reference if needed.
- Don’t forget to say “thank you” to your reader and let them know how they can reach out to learn more about you!.