Resumes, job applications, and cover letters are all somewhat anxiety-invoking. Applying for a job is very important, but what happens when you come across something you’re not sure about, such as the words “referred by”? If you have any kind of questions about referrals, you have come to the right place!
“Referred by” on a resume means simply a referral from a person in some sort of professional field. This can be a past employer, coworker, or acquaintance with some professional experience. An employee referral is when an employee refers a friend as a candidate for their workplace.
It is perfectly normal if you still have a few questions about referrals, whether it’s how to get them, who to ask, and so forth. This is a particularly important part of getting a new job, so make sure you give the process a good amount of thought. Here are a few helpful tips that you may want to know:
Who Should I Use as a Reference?
As mentioned before, you should be mindful about who you choose as your reference(s). You should never just choose anybody. Make sure you have a fairly well-defined relationship with this person and make sure what they have to say will matter to your potential employer. Here are a few ideas of who you should and should not ask.
First of all, you may not want to ask a friend unless they have a good deal of experience or some significant connection to wherever it is you’re wanting to work. Friends are great to have, but a future employer may not trust the word of a friend, simply because friends can often be biased or defensive of each other. Since that is the case, a friend’s judgment on the matter may or may not be somewhat cloudy or unreliable. Because of this, it’s best to stick with professional connections.
Using somebody who has some sort of connection to the place you want to work at will usually serve you well as a reference. This doesn’t just have to be a friend who works there. It could be an acquaintance who works there or even a friend of a friend who works there. Simply write a letter or email asking for a referral and give them enough time to decide if and how they want to proceed.
You can also use a Linkedin connection or somebody who works in a similar field. As long as your reference(s) has plenty of experience and is a credible source, your potential employer is more likely to take a good look at your resume and think hard about whether or not they want to hire you.
Any sort of connection inside your company of choice should always be your first choice, but if you don’t have one, you can use somebody else. You can use your most recent boss (unless they fired you) as a reference, a past coworker, a staff member from places you may have volunteered at, or even someone you babysat for as a teen. It can really be anyone you can think of as long as they can give an honest, yet professional, review of you and your work.
What Should I Write in a Referral?
You should also give careful consideration when writing a referral for somebody because you want it to make a good statement about them and you. If you are considering writing a referral for a friend or colleague for a position within your company, think about the following tips.
First of all, you should take your reputation and the reputation of your company into account. As mentioned above, you don’t want to ask just anybody to be your reference, and you don’t want to act as just anybody’s reference either. If you are going to refer somebody to be a part of your company, you should be sure that they are a reliable candidate who will do everything to be a good employee and hold up the integrity of the workplace.
And not only that, but you also want everything from their interview to their future contribution to reflect well on you. If you helped get somebody hired that is not a good employee, it will reflect very poorly on you and will quite possibly make people question your judgment. That is the last thing you need, especially if it means you may need to look for another job.
You will also want to make sure your acquaintance fully understands the level of commitment they will need to foster to do well in that position. If you start to get the feeling that they might not stick around for long even after you have referred them, you may want to consider passing them up for a more worthy candidate.
Before referring them, you will want to prepare your reference as much as you can before their interview and potential hire. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to overstep, especially if they aren’t guaranteed to get the job. However, giving the asker a solid understanding of the office culture and other things will really prepare them for what is coming. Plus, it could help them perform better at an interview and build their resume to better fit what the employer is looking for.
You should also be as honest as you can about that person’s experience. As a matter of fact, lying about a person’s experience is quite possibly one of the worst things you can do for yourself, your employer, and that person. Not only will the candidate be unprepared for the workload that is expected of them, but your employer may also be faced with the unpleasant task of firing them.
Additionally, referring an underqualified candidate will reflect very poorly on you. Your employer may begin to question not only your judgment, but your honesty and integrity as well. If you choose to lie about your reference’s experience, you will be doing a disservice to yourself, your friend, and your boss. It’s just bad all around, so don’t get any ideas!