Referrals are a great way to build strong networks of trust between you, your clients, prospects and candidates as they create a situation where the ‘good guys’ are all vouching for one another.
There are three steps to getting a successful referral through LinkedIn:
- Find the right person
- Send the right message
Whom should you send the message?
- Find people who are working in your target company.
- Prefer people who are working in the same domain. As in, if you’re a frontend developer, it is better to ask a frontend developer to refer you for the available position. They can judge you better based on your resume and your skills.
- LinkedIn allows you to send messages to a limited number of people. Prefer people who’ve been active on LinkedIn in the past one month. Here, activity means a like/comment/post/share.
What should you send in the message?
Follow these DOs and DONTs to decide what to send.
- Cut the small talk and get to the point. Don’t drop a “Hi” and wait for the other person to respond back to continue the conversation.
- Provide proper context. Don’t just send a straight “Can you refer me?” without any context.
- Keep the message informative. Send your message with the proper job id and URL of the opening (from company career page, LinkedIn, etc).
- Sell yourself. If you’ve something to showcase, mention that.
Example: any tech talk that you’ve. delivered, any open-source contributions that you have made, your personal website, etc.
- Create a template. Following a proper template of the referral message which includes the above points will make it easier for you to apply to multiple roles.
If your message is concise and appealing, your chances of getting a reply will be pretty high. The referrer may even suggest some improvements or provide some valuable feedback. Either way, it’s a win for you.
What to do after sending the message?
With the right message sent to the right folks, you will most likely get a lot of referrals from multiple amazing people.
People are busy and may not respond to or even read your message immediately. If you do not get a reply, send a followup message after a few days. Send at max 2–3 followups spread across 10–15 days. If it still doesn’t work, try to find someone else for a referral.