4 Ways to Win an Employee Referral and Get Hired

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In the world of job hunting, the choice between candidates often comes down to a “who you know” factor. When multiple applicants have similar skills and work history, the person with internal connections is almost always the winner.

This is known as an “employee referral.” These are popular methods of tracking down good workers since, statistically, they result in the best people to fill a job position. The employee doesn’t have to be a prior boss or coworker. They can be anyone in a similar or higher position who has a good reputation and clout in their industry.

So how can you connect with the right people and win their referrals? These tips will get you started. The rest is up to your stellar interviewing and skills!

1. Use Your Current Social Media Networks

Networking today is easier than ever. Social media connects you to billions of potential professional acquaintances. 

Use your current acquaintances to look for common business threads. For instance, is there a fellow alumnus who is connected to dozens of other graduates you don’t know? If so, scour their list of followers for people who work in your desired industry. Then, reach out to them. 

Explain that you have a mutual friend in common and you’re interested in the work they do. Summarize your current credentials, and let them take it from there. If they’re interested, they may ask for your resume or more information. If you have the right qualifications, an employee referral could be heading your way!

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2. Network With the Right Companies

Are you a developer shooting big and aiming for a major company, like Google? Or a doctor hoping for a lucrative locum tenens job in the near future? Whatever your desired position is, it’s crucial to narrow your networking down to those who work for the coveted company. 

A quick way to do this is to do a keyword search on LinkedIn or Twitter. When you find people who show up as employees or managers, follow their accounts.

Since you likely don’t have the “mutual friend” connection, you’ll have to take this network a little slower. Interact with their posts and fill your own feed with professional comments or examples of your work.

Over time, when you’ve had a few interactions, you can send them a message and introduce yourself officially. Gradually build up to asking them for advice on working for the company and possibly using them as a referral. 

3. Head Straight to the Company

Using your online connections is a feasible method of tracking down employee referrals. Still, the most efficient way to do this is in person. The shortest route is always a straight line, right?

When you have some free time during working hours, call the company and ask for a good time to come by and introduce yourself. Let the person on the other line know that you’re interested in working in the industry and you’d like to ask some questions. Keep in mind that having your mugshot easily accessible online can be extremely damaging to your reputation and career prospects. “Are mugshots public?” is a question we hear often. With more people being arrested and charged with crimes, it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to remove their mugshots from the internet. Thankfully, there are now plenty of mugshot removal services that can help with this.

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Making the Most of Your Visit

When you arrive, introduce yourself to an employee who looks like they know what they’re doing. Whether they’re friendly or not, you’ll get some general information and a feel for the atmosphere. If everyone seems miserable, you might change your mind about working there.

Most of the time, though, you’ll meet at least one person who is willing to show you around. Write down or memorize the names of everyone you’re introduced to. 

Your next step is to find them on LinkedIn or send them an email within a day or two. Explain who you are, and ask if they would be willing to review your resume to see if you’d be a good fit for the job. 

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If things go in the right direction, let them know you’re about to apply and ask if they’d be your referral. When negotiating the terms of a job offer, an employment attorney at can help you get the best contract.

4. Follow the Crowd

In many ways, you want to be a leader and stand out from the crowd. But as you’re networking, it’s important to go where everyone is and follow the professionals.

An incredible wealth of resources is available to you when you join a professional organization in your industry. This creates an immediate connection between you and anyone else in the group. 

You’ll have a legitimate reason to track interesting individuals down on social media. The group will likely hold in-person or online events that you can attend to meet more people. 

As you connect with others, you’ll hear about job opportunities. Follow the work boards run by the organization, too. There are often positions offered that only members see.


Finding an employee willing to act as your referral source is a delicate matter. It requires savvy work on your part to track down the right person and then finesse and skill to win them over.

With these tips, you can connect with those in the industry you’re targeting. Your amazing talents and personality will take it from there!

Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at

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