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Professional Reference Cover Letter

Referral Cover Letters Examples for Job Searching

When you are engaged in a job search, or just seeking to expand your network of contacts, you may have the opportunity to write cover letters, or letters of inquiry, mentioning a referral by someone you both know.

What to Include in a Referral Letter

Having a professional or personal referral will make your letter stand out, and give you a better chance of being noticed. You should always include the name of the person who referred you, and the circumstances of your acquaintance in your cover letter.

When you're applying for a job, Include a brief overview of your work experience and your qualifications for the position you're interested in. Take the time to match your credentials to the job description if you are applying for an available position.

If you're not writing about a specific job opening, ask the contact person for a meeting or call to discuss opportunities or to gather information.  Finish your letter by thanking the reader for his or her consideration and stating how you will follow up on your letter.

Referral Cover Letters and Email Examples 

The following are examples of an email message and cover letters mentioning a referral for a job.

Email Referral Message Example for a Job

If you send your cover letter via email, mention the referral in the subject line of your message.

Subject: Referral From Janna Doling

Dear Mr. McKensie,

I am writing to express my interest in the International Marketing position open at WellCam, Inc.

I am very familiar with your products and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about how I could help increase your international market share. My colleague Janna Doling recommended that I contact you directly about this position. Janna and I have worked closely in the industry for many years, and she thought that I would be an excellent match for WellCam.

My extensive experience marketing similar products internationally has given me an overall knowledge of the business, directly applicable to your interest in increasing sales abroad. In my previous position as International Marketing Manager with ABC Company, I successfully increased our revenue in each of my territories by over 40% within my first year. In the six years I spent at ABC, I helped to establish a market share in an additional ten countries, while increasing revenue and profits in all locations.

I believe that I am an excellent candidate for the position you have advertised, and would very much like the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I have to offer WellCam, Inc.

Sincerely yours,

John Armour

Referral Cover Letter Example for a Job 

This sample cover letter is for a retail position and includes a referral from a mutual acquaintance.

Name
Address
City, State, Zip
Phone #
Email

Date

Name
Title
Company
Address
City, State, Zip

Dear Ms. Buzby,

I am writing in reference to the position of Store Manager at Lucky's Book Store advertised in the Gazette. Jean Davis suggested that I contact you regarding this position. Jean and I have worked together coordinating our Community Library Book Sale for the past several years, and she believes my experience and enthusiasm would be compatible with the work environment at Lucky's.

My retail experience is extensive, having worked in national department stores such as Racy's and Willards, as well as small boutiques in the local Downtown College Area. As Manager of the Gift Department at Racy's, I was responsible for overseeing the Bridal and Gift Registry and suggested changes to the layout which were adopted throughout the company. While working as Store Manager at The Modern Woman, a women's clothing boutique, I increased sales by 50% over the five years I was there through customer service, creative advertising, and display. During that time, The Modern Woman was recognized in the Downtown Area's "Best Shopping Experience" magazine four times.

With my love of books and retail experience, I believe that I could offer Lucky's a fresh perspective and innovative ideas in the competitive booksellers market.

Please review my enclosed resume. I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I can offer to Lucky's Book Store. Thank you for your time and consideration,

Regards,

Grace Dolphin

Referral Cover Letter Example Asking for a Meeting

Mr. Rich Freeland, VP Marketing
Ford Center
123 Main Street
Oklahoma City, WA 66556

Dear Mr. Freeland,

In a recent conversation with Janis French, she suggested I contact you. Janis and I worked very closely together on a production last spring in NY. She was kind enough to offer me some advice on the next steps in my career. She mentioned that she had had the opportunity to work with you several years ago, and she thought that perhaps you would be able to offer some guidance to me as well.

My passion is marketing large productions and events where I can utilize my creative, innovative, and problem-solving abilities. The sense of satisfaction I feel at the close of an event or production is always worth the time, effort, and hard work. My work includes seven international trade shows for SC Johnson and Sons.

They were pleased with the increase in quality inquiries and brand awareness and the fact I had reduced the overall trade show costs.

Mr. Freeland, I do not expect you to have (or know of) opportunities. I would like a brief meeting to discuss the convention industry as well as current and future trends. You are nationally recognized for your expertise in managing Moscone Center, Reunion Plaza and, currently, The Ford Center. Your advice and feedback will be greatly appreciated.

I will call you during the first part of next week to set up a convenient time to meet. I will come prepared and be brief. I look forward to meeting you.

Sincerely,

Deborah Sweetingale

More Cover Letter Samples
Review sample cover letters for a variety of scenarios including a follow-up letter, inquiry letters, job/industry specific sample cover letters, cold contact, and referral letter samples.

Read More: How to Ask for a Referral for a Job | How to Mention a Referral in a Cover Letter

How to Format a List of Professional References

During the job application process, you will most likely be asked for references who can attest to your qualification for the job. Typically, this request either occurs when you initially submit your job application, or later in the application process, when the hiring manager is close to making the decision about which candidate will get the job. The employer will typically specify how many references to include on your list, as well as what contact information you need to provide for each reference.

You will need to format your list of professional references either to include with your application materials, or else to email to the hiring manager later on in the hiring process. The employer will typically advise you on how and when to provide references.

As with all communication with a potential employer, from cover letters to thank you notes, your list of references should be formatted professionally, easy to read and understand, and free of any typos or errors. Here is information on what to include on your list of references, and how to format the page.

What to Include on a Reference List

When you provide a list of professional references to an employer, you should include your name at the top of the page. Then list your references, including their name, job title, company, and contact information, with a space in between each reference.

If it's not clear from your resume, you may also wish to include information about your relationship with the reference.

For instance, you could write "Reference Name was my supervisor while I was an accountant at Smith Enterprises," or "Reference Name is my current employer."

The list should include at least three professional references who can attest to your ability to perform the job you are applying for. See more information on who to ask for a reference and how to make the request.

Example of Professional References Format

Here's how to format a list of professional references for employment or business purposes.

References for Janet Dolan

John Killeny
Human Resources Director
Allston Industries
52 Milton Street
Allston, MA 12435
john.killeny@allstonindustries.com
(555) 123-4567

Janet Smithley
Manager
McGregor Company
1001 Route 20, Suite 210
Arlington, CA 55112
jsmithley@mcgregor.com
(555) 123-4567
Janet Smithley was my supervisor at McGregor Company.

Samantha Greening
Marketing Director
Samson Enterprises
108 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 11111
greenling@samson.com
(555) 123-4567
Samantha Greening was my colleague at Samson Enterprises.

A Few Tips Regarding References

Choosing who to ask for a reference is an important step in your application process. Depending on the job you’re applying for, you will want to tailor who you place on your reference list. When possible, utilize references with connections to the company to which you are applying. It’s also helpful to use references who can attest to your qualifications for the particular job you’re applying to. It’s great if you can list people who have worked with you in a similar context to the position as well.

When you ask someone to give you a reference, it’s always a good idea to give them an opportunity to decline.

While most people are happy to help colleagues out with references and recommendations, there may be personal circumstances preventing them from doing so at a particular time.

Remember that there are circumstances as well when you might want to submit a character or personal reference (as opposed to a professional reference) who might be better able to speak to your abilities to do the job you’re applying to.

This is especially true when you have limited work experience, or are branching into a new field.

Before You Submit Your References

Listing out your references on the page isn't your last step in this process. If you haven't already, ask permission from each of your references. It's important to only submit people who have agreed to serve as a reference.

Even if all of your references are happy to be on your list, it's a good idea to provide a heads-up that someone may be reaching out to ask about you.

This is a great opportunity to share some information about the job you're applying for, provide some key points that you'd like them to emphasize, and generally remind them about you and your skills and accomplishments, especially if it's been a while since you worked together.

Once you've done all that, review the references list one final time to make sure there are no typos and that all contact information is correct and up-to-date. Here are some helpful proofreading tips for job seekers.

Read More:Reference Letter Samples | How to Use a Friend as a Reference

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