How do Job Referrals work?

You’re looking for a job. You came across an impressive profile on LinkedIn and now you are about to ask the person to refer you. This often sounds simple and possible, but most of the times we all can agree, that it’s challenging.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, things are simple, it’s just our understanding that adds up to our struggles. So, cutting the story short, this can guide you to increase your chances of getting a referral by messaging someone, particularly on LinkedIn.

I have been reached out by thousands for referrals and tips and tricks for McKinsey. I have referred potential candidates as well. Unfortunately, I struggle referring everyone, as there is a threshold for that and sadly I feel it difficult to go through each message. But there are times, when people reach out to you in ways, in which you cannot just stop yourself referring them. So, this blog would be around everything that comes under best practices one should follow for, Referrals!

As a presumption, this information assumes that you are suitable for the role for which you’re seeking a referral. One should make sure that they’ve gone thoroughly through the job description and are genuinely eligible for it.

Reading the job description thoroughly is important and one should apply only if they satisfy the criteria. This approach is both professionally and morally, right.

Additionally, one should know people are busy. Everyone has their own journey. Respect their time. There is a high probability that most of these people get tons of messages on LinkedIn. You certainly would not wish your message to be ignored among the other messages of the lot.

So here, I am sharing the three steps to getting a successful referral through LinkedIn:

| Whom should you send the message?

| What should you send in the message?

There are some DO’s and DON’T’s to this approach.

Lastly, if your message/strategy is concise and appealing, your chances of getting a reply will be high, or the probability for it would increase many folds. If you’re lucky, the referrer may even suggest some improvements or would provide some valuable feedback that can help you in many ways than one. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for you.

| What to do after sending the message?

With the right message sent to the right people, you are most likely to get a lot of referrals from amazing people around the world.

Do note, people are busy and may not respond to you immediately. Do not loose heart, keep going strong. If you struggle to get a reply, send a follow-up message after a few days. But, make sure this is capped to a maximum of 2–3 follow ups spread across 2–4 weeks. If it still doesn’t work, hard luck, try to find someone else for a referral. Avoid spending more time than usual on a single potential connection and move on!

All the best!

In case, more information is required, I can be reached out on —


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