How to Ask for a Referral on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, with its vast network of professionals, has become an essential platform for job seekers. One of the most valuable assets when applying for a job is having a referral, as it can significantly increase your chances of landing an interview. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to ask for a referral on LinkedIn the right way.

Understand the value of Referrals

Before you begin, it’s crucial to understand why referrals are essential. Companies often trust employees’ recommendations as it saves time in the hiring process and usually leads to more qualified and culture-fit candidates.

Research the Company and Role

Before reaching out, familiarize yourself with the company’s culture, values, and the specific role you’re interested in. This will show the potential referrer that you’re genuinely interested and have done your homework.

Identify the Right Connection

Not all LinkedIn connections are equal when it comes to referrals.

Focus on those who

Work at your target company.
Know you well enough to vouch for your qualifications and character.
Hold a position that is relevant or influential to the hiring decision.

Send a Personalized Message

Avoid sending a generic message. Clearly state of your purpose in the few lines.

Start with a clear subject line, e.g., “Seeking a Referral for [Role] at [Company]”.
Remind them briefly of your relationship or any past interactions. Express your interest in the role and company. Express your interest in the role and company.
Clearly ask if they would feel comfortable referring you.

Be Transparent

Honesty is crucial. If there are specific reasons you’re seeking opportunities (e.g., you were laid off, looking for a role that aligns more with your passion), share them succinctly. This transparency can help your connection understand your situation better.

Prepare your reference

If they agree, Provide them with information about the job and its requirements. Highlight specific experience and achievements.

Respect their Decision

Whether they choose to refer you, decline, or not respond, always respect their decision. Remember that by referring you, they’re putting their professional reputation on the line.

Show Gratitude

If you do get a referral, always express your gratitude. This simple act can go a long way in maintaining and strengthening your professional relationships. send them a thank you message.

Prepare for Questions

Be ready for potential follow-up questions from your connection. They might want to know more about your skills, experiences, or why you’re particularly interested in that company or role. This is not just to test you, but to equip themselves with the right information should they decide to refer you.

Keep Them in the Loop

Update your referrer on the application process, especially if you secure an interview or get the job. They’ve invested in your success by referring you, so they’ll likely appreciate the updates. Stay connected and keep the connection alive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should I wait for a response before following up or considering it a declined request?

A good rule of thumb is to wait at least one week. People can be busy, and LinkedIn might not be their daily go-to platform. If you haven’t received a response after a week, you can send a polite follow-up. If there’s still no response after that, it’s best to move on.

Can I ask multiple people from the same company for a referral?

While it’s technically possible, it’s essential to tread carefully. If two people from the same company end up discussing your referral request, it might come across as insincere or desperate. It’s usually best to approach the person with whom you have the strongest relationship or the most relevant connection to the role you’re seeking.

I’ve just connected with someone on LinkedIn. Is it too soon to ask for a referral?

Generally, yes. It’s essential to build some rapport before asking for a favor, especially something as significant as a job referral. Engage with their content, have a few meaningful interactions, or discuss shared interests/professional topics first.


Referrals can significantly boost your chances of landing a job, but they come with a responsibility. Give them a decline option if they do not feel comfortable to give referral. If someone refers you, always ensure you uphold professionalism and respect throughout the hiring process. After all, your actions will reflect on the person who referred you.

How to Ask for a Referral on LinkedIn
How to Ask for a Referral on LinkedIn

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