how to ask for referral on linkedin

How to Ask for Referral on LinkedIn

For anyone who is looking for a job currently, a great way to increase your chances of success is by asking someone on LinkedIn for a referral. While you may think this would be as simple as just messaging a contact and asking for the referral, there are certain do’s and don’ts when it comes to this process. Before even considering sending the message, ensure you are qualified for the job that you are applying for. After that, just follow our top tips on how to ask for a referral on LinkedIn, and you’ll be on your way to securing your dream role this year.

Find the Right Person to Ask for the Referral

How to Ask for Referral on LinkedIn

The first thing you need to take the time to research is who would be the most appropriate contact to ask for a referral.

For the greatest chance of success, try to find someone who is working at the company you are applying for. From there, select someone who is working within the same domain, as they’ll be able to judge better whether you are qualified for the position.

As LinkedIn limits the number of messages you can send, only send requests to those you have been active on LinkedIn recently. If you send your request to someone who hasn’t used the site for half a year, it’s unlikely you’ll receive a timely response to your request.

Related: How to Find Remote Jobs on LinkedIn

Create the Perfect Message to Send

how to ask for referral on linkedin

When it comes to crafting your message, you’ll want to spend a good amount of time thinking about what to write. Avoid copying and pasting your message to a whole host of contacts, as this looks so lazy and will be very unlikely to receive a response.

Avoid making unnecessary small talk, and cut straight to the point of your message. Of course, your message should contain more than a simple “can you refer me for this job?” and should go into detail about why you are applying for the role and your appropriate qualifications. You’ll want to try and sell yourself during this message by sharing your recent career successes.

Once you’ve sent one request, you can then create a template that you can tweak each time to form the perfect message to send. Work to keep your message concise for the best chance of receiving a reply.

Follow-Up Your Request

How to Ask for Referral on LinkedIn

If you’ve written the perfect message, hopefully, you’ll receive a timely response from a few people offering you referrals. However, remember that people today don’t always have the time to go on LinkedIn and reply to messages every day.

If you don’t get a reply within a few days, consider sending a polite follow-up message. After a couple of follow-up messages over the next couple of weeks, if you don’t hear anything back, it’s safe to say it’s time to move on elsewhere. When you send out your initial referral requests, try to message a good number of relevant people so that you can secure a few referrals without waiting too long.

Don’t Pester or Beg Anyone for a Referral

How to Ask for Referral on LinkedIn

Individuals today are becoming busier than ever, and this is something we always remind anyone who is wondering how to ask for a referral on LinkedIn. The worst thing you could do when trying to apply for a job is to pester someone for a referral.

If you’ve politely followed up on your initial message and don’t hear back, it’s time to cut your losses and try your luck elsewhere. Remember that people today are extremely busy and only have a limited number of hours each day to spend on LinkedIn and social media. Some people probably receive dozens of these types of messages a day, so don’t expect a response from everyone you reach out to.

Take Any Feedback You Receive Onboard

How to Ask for Referral on LinkedIn

Hopefully, you’ll receive positive responses to the majority of your referral requests. However, from time to time, you may find that you receive feedback in regards to your message or your qualifications for the job role.

Try to take any feedback you receive in a gracious manner, and use it to improve your future applications. If someone has taken the time to offer suggestions and feedback, appreciate that they’ve even bothered to reply instead of just ignoring your initial message. Send them a polite thank you message and move on to your next referral request from there.

Avoid Vague Messages


One of the most common mistakes we see individuals make today when asking for a referral is a very vague message. If you try to initiate a conversation with someone without directly asking about the referral you need, likely you’ll just be ignored.

Alternatively, you may find you end up in an endless back and forth, and it may feel awkward at that point to ask for a referral. Be very direct in your initial message about your need for a referral, and don’t shy away from sharing your achievements and qualifications.

Ensure Your Profile is Up to Date

If your contact is not someone you know particularly well, you’ll want to ensure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile they can refer to. When they go to look at your profile, they’ll expect to see detailed work experience and your qualifications and achievements. You can also work to share relevant information for your industry, which will help to give someone an insight into your interests and personality.

For anyone who wonders how to ask for a referral on LinkedIn, this is something you should consider doing before even typing out your first message to show you are committed to your future career.

Asking for a referral on LinkedIn can certainly seem like a daunting task, but many people today find it to be much easier than approaching someone in person for the same reason. When considering how to ask for a referral on LinkedIn, follow all of the steps we’ve listed above to set yourself up for the greatest chance of success. Remember, if you don’t succeed the first time, try again, and in no time at all, you’ll secure referrals for your next job role.

Related: How to Put Remote Work on Your Resume

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