Sample Referral Letters and Emails for Career Networking

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When you are looking for a job, it can be helpful to reach out to your connections and ask if they have any contacts or advice that would be helpful to you. When someone is able to provide you with a contact, it’s important to refer to that mutual connection in your letter requesting the contact’s help.

The Benefits of Asking for a Referral

In the competitive job market, it’s important to use the connections you have.

When you are able to refer to a mutual acquaintance, you give yourself an advantage over the other applicants. When you are seeking employment, often it’s the “who you know” that can make the difference between getting an interview and having your resume passed by.

When writing to someone to ask for job search help, it’s especially important to be professional, get right to the point of your letter, and be appreciative of any time they are willing to give you. Also, make sure to send a follow up thank you note to the mutual contact who referred you.

Sample Referral Letters

Referral Letter Example

Your Firstname Lastname
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email


Firstname Lastname
Job Title
City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Lastname,

I am a friend of Janice Dolan and she encouraged me to forward my resume to you. I know Janice through the Brandon Theater Group, where I am the technical director.

We worked together on several local theater projects.

I'm interested in relocating to the San Francisco area in the near future. I would appreciate any recommendations you can offer for conducting a job search for a theater position, finding job leads, and any help you can provide with the logistics of relocating to California.

My resume is attached. Most of my theatrical experience is in lighting and projection design, however I have worked at most backstage areas during my career.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Your Signature

Your Typed Name

Referral Email Example 

Subject: Referred by Chris Rogers

Dear Ms. Wiess,

My colleague Chris Rogers recommended that I contact you to find out if you had any recommendations regarding employment in the publishing industry in New York. I am currently employed at Polar Publishing House as an assistant marketing director.

I would be thankful for any advice you have regarding my job search. I would greatly appreciate it if you would review my resume, and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you at your convenience.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Betsy Billings

How to Send Your Letter

You can send your referral letter asking for job search help by mail or email. Time is always important to consider, but sometimes a hard copy of your request can be useful to the person, and provides a more personal connection.

Your letter should be formatted as a business letter. If you choose email, be sure to make your subject line clear, so your letter isn’t deleted as trash before it gets read. It’s a good idea to use “Referred by” with the name of your mutual acquaintance to identify your connection.

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