Tony Morrison is the Vice President of Business Development at Cac
With so many different tools and strategies to utilize, the job search can become a blur. Because of this, you may be neglecting the most tried and true method of advancing your search: networking.
Networking is a beautiful thing – it introduces you to new connections, helps to maintain current ones, and reveals opportunities to start, develop, and advance your career. It doesn’t even require a whole lot of effort once you’ve become good at it. One of the best things for your job hunt that can come from networking, however, is a referral.
Are you talking to people in your profession and asking about opportunities with employers that interest you?
Referral vs. Reference
Let’s clear this one up before we go any further. While a reference is contacted by the hiring manager and testifies on your past performance as requested, a referral is more of a current endorsement by an insider for the position you want. Referrals may even be more essential than stellar reference for landing a job – over half of all job seekers have been hired through a friend’s referral at some point in their career.
Keep On Networking
Employees will give referrals to individuals that they know personally. You’re best bet is to keep networking through the people you know and trust to establish mutually beneficial connections. When you can, pay it forward by providing advice, sharing knowledge, and even offering a referral for a fellow job seeker – that way, when a position relevant to your career progression comes their way, they will think of you first.
How To Ask
Let’s say you find a position at a company and see that you have a strong networking contact there – how do you ask for their referral? No matter how well you may know the contact, it’s best to ask in a way where they could opt out if they’re not comfortable passing your name along. Say something to the effect of “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?”
Referrals are the highest rated source of candidate quality – hiring managers are more likely to take them into serious consideration and possibly make you a top candidate for the job.
What do you think? Have you ever received a referral for a position or given one for a candidate? Do you agree that they are important in the job search? Share your thoughts below!