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How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter (With Examples)

  • How To Sign A Cover Letter
  • Salary Requirements In Cover Letter
  • Referral In Cover Letter
  • Cover Letter Body
  • Use Dear Sir Or Madam?
  • Use Mrs. Or Ms.?

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Having a referral by someone who is already employed at the company you’re applying to can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door. Mentioning a referral in your cover letter is one of the ways to do this.

To help you write the best referral in your cover letter, we’ll go over how to include a reference in a cover letter, provide some referral cover letter examples, and some benefits to being referred.

Key Takeaways:

Make sure you have a reliable referral that is in good standing with a company, and that they know they are being included before putting down a referral.

Candidates that are referred also tend to feel more of an obligation to the company, their reference, and their team, allowing them to get up to speed more quickly and adapt to the new culture and workplace more efficiently.

Writing a cover letter with referral will allow you to highlight the key skills you can bring to the position and provide specific examples of why you are the best fit for this job.

How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter (With Examples)

What is a referral cover letter?

How to mention a referral in your cover letter, referral cover letter examples, who to ask for a referral, the benefits of being referred, referral in your cover letter faq, final thoughts, expert opinion.

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A referral cover letter is an application document for a potential job opportunity that mentions a mutual contact you may share with the hiring manager or someone in the company. This connection can be an old colleague, a friend, or a networking acquaintance who likely works at the company you are applying to.

When done effectively, you can drop their name in your cover letter to emphasize how your skills and abilities align with the job and how you’ve worked with your referral in the past. You can mention specific projects and details that you know this person may be able to vouch for.

Your cover letter is the first thing your employer or hiring manager is likely to see, so use it as your moment to shine. This document will allow you to provide additional details about your education, qualifications, skills, and work ethic. You can point to specific projects and challenges you may have experienced and discuss how you overcame them and how those abilities translate to the job you are applying for.

When mentioning a referral in your cover letter, make sure your referral knows you are including them before, and then mention their name in the letter and explain why they are recommending you. Here is a more detailed list of how to add reference in cover letter:

Make sure your referral knows. Mentioning a referral in your cover letter is appropriate when you have directly contacted the person you’re planning to mention as your referral. This could be someone you contacted or someone that contacted you. It can even be someone who is not your contact on LinkedIn or other networks, but you’ve reached out to them, and they’ve agreed to be a referral.

However, in instances where you have not asked for explicit permission from the person you’re planning to use as your referral or this person is not in good standing with their employer, you should stay clear of mentioning them in your cover letter .

Mention who is referring you. The purpose of the cover letter is to impress from the start . Mention your referral within the first paragraph of your note. To do this effectively, include:

The person’s name

How you know them

How they are familiar with your skills and qualifications

Explain why they are recommending you. You can give the hiring manager a quick summary of why they are recommending you and how your past experience gives you the skills required to do the job well.

Keep it short. Try to keep your referral to one single paragraph in your cover letter. The rest of your letter should expand more on you and your skills, including how the things you have learned in previous work environments are transferable to your new role .

Send a copy of your cover letter to your referral. The last thing you should do is send a copy of your cover letter to your referral so they can read it over. Doing this is a nice gesture and allows them to know what you are saying about them. Be sure to also thank them for their help.

We’ve included some examples of how it may look to include a referral in your cover letter.

Cover letter with referral example

Dear Angela Morris, I am writing to inquire about the Marketing Director position, which came highly recommended to me by Bill Jeffries, Vice President of Marketing at Apple, Inc. Bill and I worked closely together for several years at Nabisco, where we tackled a variety of event coordination and digital lead generation efforts. Bill believes my marketing experience and skill for developing memorable events can have a profound impact on the marketing team and organization as a whole.
Dear Larry Smith, Bill Jeffries suggested I reach out to you regarding the Marketing Director position at Apple, Inc. I met Bill while coordinating a conference at the end of last year. We worked closely together with vendors, contracts, and design. He was able to see my ability to bring booths to life, develop innovative ideas to capture new leads, and drive to continually improve marketing programs, which is why he’s referred me to this role on your team.
Dear John Riley, Tom Johnson suggested I contact you regarding the Customer Representative Position at XYZ Company. I worked with Tom last year when we worked together at ABC Corp. Working closely together allowed him to see my ability to connect with others and drive sales. This is why he referred me to this role and your team.

Getting a referral when you don’t know someone well can sometimes be tricky. But there are a variety of ways to be referred for a job . A connection at the company you’re applying for might inquire whether you’re interested in exploring new job opportunities. You may have an old connection on LinkedIn that you forgot about.

LinkedIn is a great tool to explore whether you know anyone at the company you are applying to. You can easily see if you know an existing connection or if one of your contacts knows someone at the company currently.

Once you choose someone to provide a referral , be sure to reach out to them before applying for the job. Ask if they are willing to give you a referral for the job. Even if you assume this person will build your credibility with the hiring manager, it’s important to check with them first. You don’t want to bombard someone at the last minute, and you certainly don’t want to tell the hiring manager that a person has vouched for you when they actually haven’t.

To do this, you can send them an email or a letter asking them for a referral. Similar to a reference letter , this will give the person you are asking a chance to look over the requirements and think about how they can best help you. This also gives them an opportunity to opt out of a referral in case they don’t feel comfortable.

Being a candidate who is referred by someone respected in the company is a tremendous benefit for you as a job seeker such as an expedited hiring process or the ability to highlight key skills. Here are some more benefits of being referred.

It can quicken the hiring process. Even if a company doesn’t have a formal employee referral program , the human resources (HR) department typically welcomes referrals. They help to expedite the hiring process and ensure that strong candidates fill open spots on teams.

Allows the interviewer to see you in a different light. When you are referred for a job, it might feel like a lot to live up to. However, if you view it as a step up during your interview process , you will be better suited for your interview. Ultimately, having a candidate referred gives the hiring manager an authentic glimpse into the kind of employee you will be and will help them relate your experience to the position.

A better understanding of the company culture. The person who referred you will likely be asked to provide insights into how you will fit into their company culture . However, there is no need to worry because the person who referred you would not have vouched for you if they didn’t think you were the right fit for this job.

Being able to highlight key skills. Putting this referral in your cover letter will allow you to highlight the key skills you can bring to the position and provide specific examples of why you are the best fit for this job. Cover letters give you another area to share additional details that your resume may not include.

Should you mention a referral in a cover letter?

Yes, you should mention a referral in your cover letter. Mentioning a referral in a cover letter helps to emphasize how your skills and abilities align with the job and how you’ve worked with your referral in the past. The best way to do this is to mention specific projects and details how you know the person and how they can vouch for you.

Who should be a referral for a job?

A referral should be someone you know such as an old colleague, former classmate, or someone from your network who works at the company you are applying for. The person who is referring you should be a current employee and someone you trust. They should be able to help highlight your strengths and abilities.

How do you mention a referral in your cover letter?

To mention a referral in your cover letter be sure to mention by name the person who referred you and your relationship to the. This should be a person who is a current employee who can highlight your skills and abilities. Your referral in your cover letter should be kept short and to the point.

If you come into a company with the right type of referral and a person who can actively vouch for your work ethic, you’ll already place yourself ahead of the competition. Even if you have a vast network and land your dream job, continue to network . Ensure that you always depart work environments on good terms with colleagues and managers. You never know who you will cross paths with later in your career journey: the broader your network, the better chance you will have to name-drop in the future.

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How To Mention A Referral In Your Cover Letter

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“My colleague XXX recommended that I contact you directly about this position ” is an easy way to name drop your referral in the cover letter. To strengthen the statement, add something about the relationship of the referral to the company.

University of South Florida – Cover Letter Do’s & Don’ts

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Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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Cover Letter Referred by a Contact Examples

Cover Letters and Email Samples to Use for a Referral

cover letter with referral from employee

One of the surest ways to grab an employer’s attention is to  get a referral for the job . In fact, PayScale research shows that one-third of workers received a referral for their current position. And no wonder—if you were a hiring manager, wouldn’t you rather hire someone who comes recommended than take a chance on a stranger?  

But simply getting a referral isn’t enough.

To maximize the benefits, you have to make sure that the hiring manager knows that you’ve been referred.

The best way to do that is to mention it in your cover letter. It’s the ideal place to share your referral’s name and the context you know them in.

Tips for Cover Letters That Get the Hiring Manager’s Attention

  • Be professional.  Your cover letter should be written as a formal business letter, whether it’s sent as an attachment, via mail, or email. An attachment or mailed letter should begin with your contact information, the date, and the hiring manager’s contact information. An  email cover letter  should include the referral in the subject line of the message.
  • Start on the right foot.  Begin your letter with a  salutation  followed by the hiring manager’s name. Mention your referral in the first paragraph of your cover letter, with a brief explanation of your connection.
  • Show your interest.  Next, mention what interests you about the position, and why you’re qualified for the job. Let your passion show. Employers want to hire candidates who are enthusiastic about the job.
  • Say thank you.  Make sure you thank the person for their time and consideration, and use an appropriate  cover letter closing , followed by your signature (for a printed letter) and typed full name. In an email, your contact information would follow your typed name.
  • Use cover letter samples.  Your cover letter may be the first thing the hiring manager sees so you need to make a good impression.  Review these cover letter samples  for a variety of scenarios including a follow-up letter, inquiry letters, job/industry specific sample cover letters, cold contact, and referral letter samples. Be sure to customize your letter for every job application.
  • Proofread, edit, and test before sending.  Your final product should be typo-free and professionally formatted before you send it to the hiring team.

If you’re sending your cover letter via email, send yourself a test message before you email the employer.

That way, you can be sure that your formatting holds up in transmission and that there are no funny gaps or missing words in the final copy.

Cover Letter Example With a Referral

This is an example of a cover letter with a referral. Download the referral cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Cover Letter Example With a Referral (Text Version)

June Amour 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 june.armour@email.com

September 1, 2018

Raymond Maximillian Sales Director Rubymax, Inc. 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Mr. Maximillian,

I am writing to express my interest in the International Sales position open at Rubymax, 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 presence.

My colleague Joe Smith recommended that I contact you directly about this position. Joe and I have worked closely in the industry for many years, and he thought that I would be a good match for Rubymax.

My ten years of experience marketing widgets internationally have given me an overall knowledge of the business, directly applicable to your interest in increasing sales abroad.

In my previous position as International Sales Rep with ZQR Company, I successfully increased our revenue in each of my territories by over 50 percent within my first year. In the five years I spent at ZQR, I helped to establish sales bases in an additional five countries, while continuing to increase revenue in all.

Please take the time to review my resume. 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 discuss what I have to offer Rubymax, Inc. I truly appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Signature  (hard copy letter)

June Armour

Email Cover Letter With a Referral

Subject: Referred by Sloane Greene

Dear Ms. Future,

I am writing to you in regard to the position of billing manager that you have posted on your company website. I worked with Sloane Greene in the billing department of XYZ Enterprises for several years before taking a hiatus to raise my children.

When I mentioned I was returning to the workforce, she recommended I contact you about this position, as she felt that I would be an excellent fit for your organization.

At XYZ, I worked closely with Sloane to convert our billing system to handle the increase in sales volume the company was experiencing. I oversaw the seamless transition when our deliverables doubled in less than 6 months. I have successfully managed both small and large billing departments but am most comfortable in an environment like that at your company. I feel that my experience would be an asset to Bright Enterprises and would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you regarding the open position.

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

Beth Maple bethmaple@email.com 123-456-7890

Key Takeaways

If You Have a Referral, Say So Right Up Front: Include it in your cover letter and be sure to feature it in the first paragraph.

Use Cover Letters Samples to Guide Your Writing: But be sure to customize your cover letter for the specific job.

Be Professional: Use business-letter format and be sure to proofread your final draft before sending.

Say Thank You: Thank the hiring manager for their time and be sure to send thank-you notes to people who give you a referral, as well as to interviewers once you’ve met with them. 

PayScale. " The Impact of Job Referrals ." Accessed Feb. 25, 2020.

Cover Letter With a Referral From an Employee Example

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The saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know"—and when it comes to getting hired, it's true. Get an employee referral, and you may have an easier time catching the hiring manager's attention.

Many companies reward their employees for referring job candidates. The fact is that hiring via referral is  cheaper, faster, and more effective  than hiring through job sites or recruiting.  

Candidates who come recommended are often better qualified, more loyal, and a better fit for the team.

It makes sense: if you were the hiring manager, would you rather interview a candidate with no connection to the company or one that comes recommended by a current employee in good standing?

The latter person is more likely to know what it's like to work for the company – plus, the employee who referred them probably understands that their reputation is at stake. Most likely, they'd avoid referring someone who was less than qualified.

The Power of Using Employee Referrals in Your Cover Letter

According to data from Jobvite, there are significant advantages for employees who land their jobs through referral. Consider:  

  • 40% of referred applicants receive a job offer and they comprise only 7% of potential candidates.
  • Want to get to work in a hurry? Referred candidates start sooner than those who come in through other channels. Per this data, employees who come in via referral start their new positions after 29 days on average, compared with 39 - 55 days through job boards.
  • Referred employees have greater job satisfaction, according to Jobvite, and show it by staying put: 47% stay longer than three years.

How to Write a Cover Letter Mentioning an Employee Referral

  • Ask for a referral.  This might seem obvious—of course, you'll ask for a referral before you name-drop a current employee in your letter! But it's important that your connection is clued in before you send your cover letter. Bottom line, you want them to be prepared to sing your praises when the hiring manager asks for their opinion. Also: there's always the chance that they'll say no, or that they'll advise you not to apply, for reasons that only an insider would know.)
  • Give your referrer the details.  Speaking of singing your praises, your contact can only do that if you let them know which job you're applying for. Don't assume that just because they work at the organization, they'll know what the job entails. Share the job description, and match the requirements to your qualifications. This will give them some talking points to keep in their back pocket, in case they're asked about you.
  • Provide a copy of the cover letter.  Forward your email or give your contact a physical copy of your cover letter, for their reference.
  • Say thank you.  Whether the employee is writing a referral letter or merely agreeing to be included in your cover letter, it's important to say thank you. Send a  thank-you note or email  to let them know that you appreciate their help. They'll appreciate the gesture, and it will strengthen your connection.

Employee Referral Cover Letter Template

Download the employee referral cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) and review more examples.

Sample Employee Referral Cover Letter (Text Version)

Stephanie Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 stephanie.applicant@email.com 

September 1, 2018 

Laurel Lee Director, Human Resources Sunnyside Group Home 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

 Dear Ms. Lee,

I am writing in reference to the position of Youth Counselor at the Sunnyside Group Home. I have the pleasure of being acquainted with one of the Counselors on your staff, Eleanor Seville. Eleanor and I did our undergraduate work together at Sunnyville University and have been in touch professionally and personally since then. She let me know about the open position and recommended that I contact you. 

I have been working with at-risk youths for 15 years, and have found the experience extremely rewarding. I have counseled young people with a variety of challenges, including family situations, drug use, eating disorders and behavioral issues. My experience makes me well suited to help the residents at Sunnyside learn and grow in a protected environment.

While I have experience in working with all ages, I believe that the adolescent population at your facility would benefit from the knowledge I gained during the past five years while working in Student Services at Sunnyville High School. I was recognized by the District as "Outstanding Teen Leader 2018" for the After-School Job Mentoring program I developed and implemented with the cooperation of several local businesses.

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss what I have to bring to the position at Sunnyside. Thank you for reviewing my attached resume.

Stephanie Applicant

How to Add a Referral in a Cover Letter

Quick Navigation:

What is a cover letter referral?

How to include a referral in your cover letter, cover letter referral examples.

A referral is someone who recommends you for a particular job. Colleagues, people employed by the hiring company and former teachers can all be appropriate referrals. With their permission, you can mention the name of a referral in your cover letter. When you add a referral to your cover letter, it can make a positive first impression and help move your application ahead in the hiring process.

Add your referral to your cover letter’s introduction. You should catch the hiring manager’s attention, and a referral is a great way to do this. This also creates an instant personal connection between you and the company. 

Follow these steps to include a referral in your cover letter:

1. First, ask for your referral’s approval

You must get approval before adding that individual’s name to your cover letter. By doing so, you are confirming that they are happy to recommend you for the job.

If they tell you about the position, you have an opportunity to ask whether you can use their name as a referral. If you see a job posting first, call them and ask whether they would mind giving you a referral. Discuss the position, the company and why your contact thinks you are a good candidate. Your referral is staking their reputation on you, so be sure to thank them.

2. Next, mention the referral by name

Mention your referral by their full name. This takes away any confusion about who they are. If their name is common, you might also add details about how the hiring manager may know them. Do not use their nickname, even if they are commonly known by this. Double-check the spelling of their first and last name.

3. Then, explain your connection to your referral

Note whether your referral is a former or current colleague or a person connected to you in some other way. Explaining your connection gives the hiring manager some context for the referral.

4. Next, describe why the person referred you

Explain why your referral feels you are suitable for the position. This provides an opportunity to outline your strengths. If you have worked with your referral before, provide a brief explanation of this working relationship. If your referral is a former teacher, you can note the relevant course. Mention any experiences or skills your referral witnessed that might be applicable to the position. If this person works at the hiring company, note any qualities they think you have that would suit the business culture.

5. Last, send a copy of your cover letter to your referral

It is a good idea to send a copy of your cover letter to your referral. When they know exactly what you have written, they will not be surprised by anything the hiring manager says to them about your application or relationship. It will also help your referral prepare for what they might want to say if the hiring manager has any follow-up questions for them.

Every referral is different, as it reflects your personal relationship with that particular contact. However, the following cover letter referral examples can help you write your own:

Dear Ms. Gutherson,

I was excited to hear about the opening in your engineering department from one of your lead engineers, Dale Forrest. Before joining your company, Dale worked with me for five years on the engineering team at Practical Software Solutions. During that time, Dale praised me for my attention to detail and creative problem-solving skills. Dale said he felt those skills would make me an excellent addition to your engineering team.

Dear Mr. Lane,

Your receptionist Kelly Price suggested I contact you about your vacant social worker position. I met Kelly last year when she began volunteering with me at a local soup kitchen, Soul Food. Working closely together allowed her to see my ability to connect with others and my compassion for people with financial hardships and mental health difficulties.

Dear Ms. Nelson,

I was thrilled to hear about the vacant position on your design team from Hayley Saunders. Hayley and I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at the University of Central Oklahoma together in 2003 and have remained close friends. She felt my creativity and 10 years’ experience working as a designer in the media industry would make me a natural fit for the role with you at Parent and Baby Monthly Magazine.

How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter?

How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter?

Including a referral in your cover letter can help get your resume noticed by the hiring manager. It shows that you have a personal connection to someone who can vouch for your skills and abilities. A referral from a colleague or past employer can be a great way to get your foot in the door with a new company.

It’s been shown that referral hires are more likely to stick around at their new job, have higher performance ratings, and are often paid higher salaries than non-referral hires.

The benefits of including a referral in your job application are well worth the effort it takes to obtain one. In fact, according to a report from Jobvite, 59% of job seekers say referrals are their preferred way to find jobs online.

But how do you know whom to ask for a referral? And how do you include one in your cover letter? This guide will walk you through how to ask for and include a referral so you can land that interview.

What is a Referral Cover Letter?

A referral cover letter is a letter that you send to a potential employer with your resume. It is a recommendation from someone within the company that can act as a personal endorsement for you and your job application. The letter includes the name of someone who has referred you to the company. This can be a friend, family member, or professional contact. The referral cover letter is a way to get your foot in the door and stand out from the competition.

Why Should You Use A Referral in your Cover letter?

A referral gives you credibility, as it’s basically an insider saying that you are qualified for the position and would be a good fit. People trust recommendations from people they know, so this person essentially vouching for you makes a huge difference.

According to a recent study from the University of Minnesota, including a referral in your cover letter can dramatically increase your chances of getting an interview . The survey found that applicants who included referrals within their letters were interviewed at twice the rate of those who didn’t include referrals.

There are a few other reasons why you might want to include a referral in your cover letter.

  • It can help you stand out from the crowd. When you have a personal connection to someone who can vouch for your skills, it shows that you’re serious about the job and that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
  • It also makes it easier for the hiring manager to trust you since they can see that you have the endorsement of someone they know.
  • If a referral is a “known name” in the industry, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
  •  It can help you pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) screening software.
  • Including a referral in your cover letter can also help you build relationships with the people you’re applying to work with. When you make a good impression on your referral, they might be more likely to refer you to other opportunities in the future.

Is name dropping in a cover letter OK?

Name-dropping does not come easily to everyone, but a referral cover letter is one place where it can work in your favor. Referrals are powerful because they involve an introduction from a known and respected individual. When you can name-drop a referral, it gives the hiring manager an additional reason to trust your qualifications and consider you for the job.

It’s important to be subtle when you’re name-dropping in your cover letter. You don’t want to come across as arrogant or entitled. Instead, focus on how your referral can vouch for your skills and abilities.

How to Ask for a Referral?

You have spent a lot of time perfecting your resume and tweaking your cover letter to match the job description. You have done everything you can think of to make sure that when recruiters read your documents they will be impressed by what they see, but there is one more thing that you need to consider: who are you going to ask for a referral?

1) Choose Professional Contacts over Personal:

When you can, choose someone who is a professional contact, not a personal one. You want to make sure that whoever you ask to be your referral has experience working with you or working with your work, so they can speak about the kind of contributions you make and the results those contributions produce.

2) Check with your Contact before dropping their name in a Cover letter:

Whoever it is, definitely check in with them before moving forward. At the very least, give them a heads up so they aren’t caught off guard if indeed that company does call them for any reason. Ideally, you will ask them if they would be comfortable giving you a referral and then send them a copy of your resume and cover letter so they can be prepared for what to expect if/when called upon by the company.

3) Search through Networking Platforms:

If you don’t have any connections in the company for the job you are applying for then you can use a mutual contact. A mutual contact is someone that you know and the hiring manager knows. You can do this by searching for them on LinkedIn, search through Facebook, Company Website other Professional Forums the contact may be present.

4) Reach out to them via Email:

The best way to ask for a referral is by email . You should explain why you are contacting them and why you want them to refer you, if possible. For example: “I worked on your team last year and our group won an award.” It’s also important to thank them for their time.

5) Apply via an employee referral program?

If you’re applying to a large company, they may have an employee referral program. This is a program where employees can refer candidates for open positions within the company. If you’re lucky enough to know someone who works for the company, be sure to ask them if they can refer you for a position as it is beneficial for both of you.

How To Include A Referral In Your Cover Letter?

When you’re including a referral in your cover letter, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

1) Include the Referral Information in Your Opening Paragraph

One way to include a referral in your cover letter is to use it as part of your opening paragraph.

2) Explain How they know you

The person who referred you will likely have given the hiring manager some context about how they know you. But if they haven’t, or if your connection is weak (you met them once at an event), it’s important to explain how you know each other.

3) Why are they providing this Recommendation

Include a few sentences about why they are qualified to speak about you. For example, if a former manager is recommending you for a position, mention this fact, as well as what your relationship has been like and how long they have known you.

Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph with a referral :

“I am interested in the Marketing Manager position at XYZ Company. I was referred to the position by my friend, Sarah, who knows someone at XYZ Company. Sarah has told me great things about the company and she thinks I would be a perfect fit for the position. I have attached my resume and the job listing to this email. I would appreciate if you could keep me in mind for the position. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Asking for a referral can help you get your resume noticed and land the job you want. Just be sure to follow these tips and examples so that you can do it correctly.

Examples of adding a referral to your cover letter:

Referral cover letters are structured similarly to application cover letters, but they usually include an additional paragraph that explains how you were referred to the position by someone in your network. Below, you’ll find examples of referral cover letters that indicates who the applicant was referred by, along with tips for writing a referral cover letter sample.

**Adding a referral in the body of your cover letter:**

“Dear Ms. [last name], [Referral source] recommended I reach out to you about the position of [job title]. I have a great deal of experience [briefly describe your relevant experience] and would love to work with you and your team. I am available for an interview at any time that is convenient for you, and I can be reached by phone at [your phone number], or by email at [your email address].”

In the first paragraph of your cover letter, you should mention a mutual connection or referral who suggested that you reach out. Mentioning this person (or people) upfront will give you an instant connection with the hiring manager.

“I’m reaching out because [Name of Mutual Acquaintance] suggested I connect with you. She knew me from my work with [Company Name or Project], and she mentioned that you’re looking for someone to fill your opening for a [Name of Position].- “I am interested in the position of Social Media Manager at GHI company. I was referred to this position by my friend, Tina, who is the Social Media Manager at GHI company.”

Mention the referral in your first paragraph. Use words like “encouraged,” “recommended” or “referred.”

“I was encouraged by [referrer’s name] to apply for the [position name] role at [company name].”

“I was referred by [referrer’s name] to apply for the [position name] role at [company name]. They told me that you’re looking for a [skill-set/role-specific knowledge].”

“Dear [Name],

I am writing to apply for the position of [position] at [company]. I was referred to the role by my friend and former colleague, [Name], who is currently working in the [department] at [Company]. I understand you are currently seeking candidates to fill this position.

I have been following company developments for several years, and I believe that my experience as a [job title] would be beneficial to your team.”

Referral Cover Letter Sample (Text Version)

Dear [Name],

I am reaching out to you in regard to the [job title] position with [Company name]. I believe my experience in [industry] and role as a [role title] is a good match for this position.

[Name of contact, mutual friend, or colleague] recommended that I contact you and submit my resume because they know I am interested in finding a new opportunity with an outstanding company such as yours. I have been working in [industry] for the last [x years/months], and have developed many of the skills necessary for the role of [job title].

I look forward to hearing from you to discuss how my experience fits your needs. Please feel free to reach me at [phone number] or via email at [email address]. Thank you for your time and consideration.

[Your name]

Referral Cover Letter Example

Referral Cover Letter Email

Dear [Recruiter Name]

I’m writing to apply for the [position name] position advertised on LinkedIn. I met [name] at an event last month, and they suggested I reach out to you directly. We discussed my background in [field], and how it would make me a great fit for this role.

If you have any questions about my experience or candidacy, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll follow up with you next week to see if you need any additional information from me, or if we can arrange a time for us to talk.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Email Subject Line for sending a Referral Cover Letter :

  • Referral from [Kevin Rogers – VP Marketing] for Marketing Manager Position.
  • [Kevin Rogers – VP Marketing] referred me to you for the [Marketing Manager] position.

Tips for Writing a Referral Cover Letter

  • Including a referral at the top of your cover letter can help you get noticed by hiring managers and make it more likely that you’ll be granted an interview.
  • Make sure to mention your referral’s name and how you know them, such as “I worked with [name] at [company].”
  • Include a few sentences about why your referral thinks you’d be a good fit for the role and ask if they’d be willing to provide a reference if needed.
  • Don’t forget to say “thank you” to your reader and let them know how they can reach out to learn more about you!.

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How to Include a Referral in a Cover Letter

Last Updated: July 19, 2022 References

This article was co-authored by Amber Rosenberg, PCC . Amber Rosenberg is a Professional Life Coach, Career Coach, and Executive Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the owner of Pacific Life Coach, she has 20+ years of coaching experience and a background in corporations, tech companies, and nonprofits. Amber trained with the Coaches Training Institute and is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 82,094 times.

Today's job market is very competitive. To get your cover letter noticed, you want to do anything possible to increase your chances of procuring an interview. When a company’s employee, vendor partner, or well-known customer refers you to apply for a job, it can be a huge advantage to include this information in your cover letter. If the person is a strong reference, using this referral in your cover letter will increase your odds of being spotted by the hiring manager. The trick is securing a referral and making sure to effectively capitalize on your connection.

Knowing When to Use a Referral

Step 1 Understand the value of a referral.

  • There are also other ways to find someone to serve as a referral for you. For example, utilize your contacts from alumni organizations, social networks, and professional organizations. Of course, it is also important to make sure that your Linked-In profile is current so that potential employees can find you that way.

Step 3 Asking a contact for a referral.

  • Whichever contact method you choose, make sure it is both personal and professional. For example, if you choose to make the request via email, you might say something like, "Dear Jane, It was wonderful meeting you at the Annual Meeting of the People Who Have a Job Similar to Mine. I enjoyed our conversation! I'm currently looking for a new position, and I notice that your company has an opening for Manager of Important Things. I'm very interested in this job, and think I would be an excellent fit. Would you be willing to serve as a referral? I would like to use your name in my cover letter, if you are agreeable."

Step 4 Confirm your contact knows that they are your referral.

  • For example, if you choose to confirm with a phone call, you could say, "Hello, Joe. I just wanted to let you know that I am in the process of finishing up my cover letter for the position at your company. I wanted to confirm that you're fine with me using your name as a referral. I really appreciate your help."

Step 5 Confirm that your reference knows the appropriate people at the potential employer.

Writing Your Cover Letter

Step 1 Emphasize your contact in the introduction.

  • For example, you could write, "Mary Smith, your sales manager, recommended that I apply for this job. Mary and I have known each other through the executive board of the Association for Sales Managers, and over the past five years, we have worked together on many projects for that organization."

Step 3 Highlight your qualifications.

  • For example, you could write, "I excel at interpersonal communication. In my current role, I am responsible for managing a team of seven other employees and providing them with verbal feedback."

Step 4 Demonstrate an understanding of the employer's needs.

  • One effective way to convey your understanding is by writing, "Your advertisement notes that you are looking to improve your employee training program. I have significant experience in this area, and in fact, have developed several onboarding methods that would benefit your organization." [9] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Business Review Online and print journal covering topics related to business management practices Go to source

Step 5 Indicate why you want the job.

  • An example of a strong statement is, "I am excited about this opportunity because I am seeking a new professional challenge, and heading up your training program is something I can confidently handle. Additionally, your company has a reputation for a positive corporate culture that I think would be an ideal fit for my outgoing personality."

Finishing Your Cover Letter

Step 1 Edit your cover letter.

  • If you choose to follow up with an e-mail, you could write, "Dear Bob, Thank you again for agreeing to let me use you as a referral. I just wanted to let you know that I am sending my letter to Stan at your company. I'm attaching a copy, for your information."

Step 4 Review your cover letter one last time.

  • Edit any sentences such as, "The big project was completed by me." Instead, try "I successfully completed revising the training manual ahead of deadline."

Expert Q&A

  • As you are in the process of applying for this job, don't forget to keep your connections current. Networking is extremely important to connect you to more referrals and opportunities. Attend local professional meetings or basic networking groups regularly. [14] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Convey a positive and professional attitude when approaching potential references. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Pay attention to detail. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Ask for Feedback

  • ↑ https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/5-ways-win-employee-referral-hired/
  • ↑ http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/02/02/the-skinny-on-employee-referral-programs
  • ↑ Amber Rosenberg, PCC. Pacific Life Coach. Expert Interview. 8 July 2022.
  • ↑ https://www.pongoresume.com/blogPosts/381/when-and-how-to-name-drop-in-your-cover-letter.cfm
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/CoverLetters.html
  • ↑ https://hbr.org/2014/02/how-to-write-a-cover-letter
  • ↑ http://guides.wsj.com/careers/how-to-start-a-job-search/how-to-write-a-cover-letter/
  • ↑ http://www.papercheck.com/cover-letter-editing.html
  • ↑ http://www.careerchoiceguide.com/referral-cover-letter.html
  • ↑ http://www.businessinsider.com/the-importance-of-networking-2011-5

About this article

Amber Rosenberg, PCC

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How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

  • Cover Letter Tips

A cover letter is a great way to complement your resume. A well-written resume and cover letter may be of interest to a potential employer. It is especially significant if your area has a lot of candidates. Therefore, job searchers can use professional resume editing service to boost their chances of landing a job.

You might include a reference in your cover letter to help it become more effective. In 2017, PayScale surveyed 53,000 employees, and it turned out that 1/3 of respondents sent referral cover letters. While a referral is not necessary for your cover letter, it can nonetheless catch a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s attention.

How To Include a Referral in Your Cover Letter

We have already talked about cover letter do’s and dont’s earlier. For now, we suggest that you focus on referrals in cover letters.

What is a Referral?

A reference or a referral is a recommendation from a current or former employee of the company where the applicant wishes to work. Companies themselves sometimes organize referral programs to attract new qualified personnel. It means that employees can bring in new professionals with whom they have had previous favorable experiences.

A reference cover letter is one in which you refer to a contact who is familiar with hiring managers and recruiters and is connected with that organization. A referral can be beneficial when looking for a job because it helps substantiate your resume and cover letter facts.

Hiring managers and recruiters might benefit from referrals in filling open positions. Applicants should give a reference that verifies the abilities that the organization is looking for. In addition, a cover letter referred by an employee can increase interest and confidence in the candidate.

Is it Necessary to Add a Reference in a Cover Letter?

Referral cover letters are helpful in various situations. For instance, if a job seeker has a contact who recommended them to apply to the company, the job seeker can drop their name in a cover letter.

You can always include a referral from a former colleague, manager, or professor in your cover letter if they are familiar with the organization’s hiring manager or recruiter. Talent acquisition managers, in turn, are always interested in having referrals in your paper.

Read More:  Career Change Cover Letter Writing Tips

How to Mention a Referral in a Cover Letter?

We’ve outlined four procedures that will help you correctly mention a referral in your cover letter:

  • Introduce your reference contact.

Begin your cover letter by mentioning a reference by their full name. A hiring manager or recruiter must establish reliability by verifying your relationship with references. Fill in valuable and concise information about this person so the hiring manager can know the background.

  • Describe your relationships with the referral.

Then explain your connection to the referral. A hiring manager or recruiter can use your link to the reference to assess reliability. Furthermore, the explanation can demonstrate your ability to have a beneficial impact on people as well as your capacity to build meaningful relationships.

  • Explain why they think you’d be a good fit for the job.

Your referral should provide reasons why you can be of service to this company. It will reveal your strengths, which specific situations can bolster. Thus, hiring managers and recruiters can consider a job offer if they know how you react in stressful situations.

  • Describe your experience with referral.

The final step in establishing credibility with recruiters and hiring managers is to describe the experience with a referral. However, it would help if you highlighted particular facts rather than generic or clichéd phrases. Nonetheless, the purpose of a referral is to make it apparent to hiring managers or recruiters who you are and what you do.

What is the Best Way to Acquire a Referral?

We will share three steps to get a referral:

  • Identify possible references

Determine who might be able to assist you. It should be someone who either works for the organization or knows the hiring manager or recruiter somehow. Your reference should be well-versed in your abilities.

  • Obtain your reference’s permission.

After you’ve identified a person who could be a good referral for your cover letter, contact them and ask if they’d be willing to assist you.

More importantly, ask if you can include their name in the document. It’s not only a tribute but also a sign of the referral’s trust in you. Plus, if you let them know ahead of time, they’ll be prepared if recruiters contact them.

  • Send a copy of your covering letter before submitting it.

Before sending your cover letter, you should check it with the referral. Check whether they concur with the statements. It will help them prepare before speaking with the hiring manager or recruiter about your candidacy.

How Should I Ask for a Reference?

Before you begin writing a referral, keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Respectfully request a recommendation.

Reduce the possibility of rejection by politely asking the person to be your reference. You can begin by explaining the desired position or company, then effortlessly talk about the referral.

  • Give your possible reference information about the position.

When asking for a reference, be specific about the position you’re going for and the qualifications they’re looking for. It will show a referral the characteristics the employer is searching for. Knowing this will make it easier for the referral to highlight your specific strengths.

  • Ascertain that the referral is capable of taking responsibility.

The person who refers you must believe that your skills are compatible with the company’s needs. If someone does not know your skills, they are reluctant to take responsibility and recommend you. That is why you should first find someone familiar with your skills and abilities and ask if they would recommend you.

Referral Cover Letter Sample

Finally, here’s an example of a well-written referral cover letter:

Referral Cover Letter Sample

Final Thoughts

If you have someone who can actively vouch for your work ethic, you’ll already be ahead of the competition. Consider whether you have people in your business network who can assist you.

ResumeEdge is happy to be at your service in case you’ve decided to create a cover letter with references. Our cover letter writing service offers collaboration with professional writers to develop catchy cover letters.

Cover Letter for an Internal Position or Promotion

Cover Letter for an Internal Position or Promotion

How to Tailor Your Cover Letter for Each Job Application

How to Tailor Your Cover Letter for Each Job Application

Career Change Cover Letter Writing Tips

Career Change Cover Letter Writing Tips

ResumeCoach

How to Mention Referrals in Cover Letters: What to Do and What Not to Do

RC Team

Referrals on a resume are quite often  limited to a few words  at the end of the document. However, when considering how to mention referrals in cover letters you need to take a quite different approach.

A compelling  cover letter  is just as important as a  carefully crafted resume  and a good referral can make the difference in both cases. However, due to the nature of a cover letter as a flowing text, the way you  weave a professional connection into your prose  can be quite distinct.

In this article, we explain a few of the  most important dos and a don’ts  to consider when approaching cover letter referrals. Find out how to successfully mention referrals in cover letters and how these might appear in the final draft.

Do: Highlight Your Referral in the First Paragraph

Unlike on the resume, your referral needs to be  mentioned upfront . Your first paragraph normally needs to make it clear quickly that you’ve been recommended by someone before moving on to your achievements.

This is not only useful in  getting the recruiter’s attention  from the start. It also gives them extra incentive to keep reading further. Alternatively, If it’s not in the very first paragraph, it needs to be mentioned as soon as possible in the text.

Don’t: Use a Referral That Doesn’t Make Sense

A referral is only valuable if it can provide a  clear connection between yourself and the open position . Therefore, using a referee who is unrecognizable to anyone in the company is not going to get you very far.

If you have a referee but they can’t help provide a useful introduction to a job in the sector or industry you want to get hired in, it’s better to leave them off the page.

The referral always needs to act as a bridge  between you and the company to create a soft establishment of contact. If it doesn’t serve, cut it.

Do: Be Professional When You Namedrop

As with the rest of your cover letter, it’s important to be professional in the way that you  name and explain your connection  to the referee. This is shown in the sample text below:

I am writing to you to express my interest in the Sales Representative position available at Entertech Inc as recommended to me by Joe Smith. Joe and I have worked closely together for a number of years and he made me aware I could be a good fit for this position given my experience and record in sales.

As you can see from this simple example, the reference  doesn’t need to be long or wordy  to be formal and professional. It focuses on an indirect way of selling yourself that addresses the needs of the role whilst giving you the best introduction possible.

Don’t: Name Someone Without Getting Permission First

It’s very bad business etiquette to namedrop someone in a cover letter without asking them first.  Always get permission  before sending out a document with a named professional in case the recruiter contacts them regarding your application.

Not getting permission upfront can have negative consequences for a couple of reasons. First and foremost it  could burn your bridges  with the referee in question.

Secondly, it might undermine your chances of getting picked if the recruiter notices some unfamiliarity between yourself and the referee.  Honesty is highly valued in companies  and if you state that someone has recommended a position to you when they haven’t, it could lead to you losing out on the role.

Ideally, you should  send a copy of your draft cover letter to the person  you’re naming before submitting it. That way you’ll be able to ensure they are happy with the information about them you’ve provided.

Do: Explain Your Connection to the Referee

The recruiter needs to be able to understand  why your referee might have recommended you  and how this might connect to your eligibility for the job. Therefore always make it clear whether they have referred you for any of the following reasons:

  • You work with them
  • They work in the company you’re targeting
  • You’ve worked with them previously
  • They know you personally

Don’t: Forget to Explain Why They Are Recommending You

Along with the details of how you know your referee, you also need to give an indication as to why they have recommended you.

As shown in our example previously, it’s important to state  why they have told you about the opportunity with the company.  This can normally be demonstrated by noting a few achievements, types of experience, or working styles that could make you a good candidate.

There can be no doubt that a referral for a job can  accelerate your chances  of getting hired . Trust and relationships play a big role in professional development. By getting the recommendation of someone known to the company or who can vouch for you can go a long way in making your cover letter pack a punch.

Organizing and designing your cover letter isn’t as tricky as it might seem. ResumeCoach’s  resume and cover letter building tools  can help take some of the time and effort out of crafting the perfect application documents. Try it now to enjoy professional, stylish templates, guidance, and easy to edit sections.

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Cover Letter With Referral From Employee

Cover Letter With Referral From Employee 1

If you’re applying for a job and you know someone who works at the company, it’s always a good idea to mention them in your cover letter. A referral can help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of getting an interview. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to write a cover letter with a referral from an employee, provide several examples, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Tips for Writing a Cover Letter With Referral from an Employee

Before we dive into the examples, here are some tips to keep in mind when writing a cover letter with a referral:

1. Mention the referral in the opening paragraph. Start your cover letter by mentioning the name of the employee who referred you and your relationship with them.

2. Explain why you’re interested in the job. Use the body of your cover letter to explain why you’re excited about the opportunity and how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position.

3. Customize your cover letter for each job application. While it’s okay to use a template, make sure you personalize your cover letter for each job you apply to. Tailor your language to match the job description and the company culture.

4. Proofread carefully. Make sure your cover letter is free of spelling and grammar errors. Ask a friend to review it for you to catch any mistakes you may have missed.

5. Find examples to inspire you. Use the examples in this article as a starting point, and edit them as needed to fit your own experience and writing style.

Examples of Cover Letters With Referral from an Employee

Cover letter with referral from a colleague.

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I’m writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I learned about this opportunity from my colleague, [Referrer’s Name], who speaks highly of the company’s culture and values.

As a [Your Job Title] with [Number of Years] years of experience in [Industry], I believe I would be a great fit for this role. In my current position at [Current Company Name], I have [List a few key accomplishments or responsibilities that match the job description.]

Thank you for considering my application. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name] and to contribute my skills and experience to your team.

[Your Name]

Cover Letter With Referral from a Friend

I’m writing to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I was excited to see this opportunity posted on the company’s website, and I knew I had to apply because of my friend, [Referrer’s Name], who raves about working at [Company Name].

I have [Number of Years] years of experience in [Industry], and I believe that my skills and experience make me a strong candidate for this position. In my current role at [Current Company Name], I have [List a few key accomplishments or responsibilities that match the job description.]

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can contribute to [Company Name] and its clients.

Best regards,

Cover Letter With Referral from a Former Manager

I’m excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I learned about this opportunity from my former manager, [Referrer’s Name], who spoke highly of the company’s commitment to innovation and customer service.

As a highly motivated [Your Job Title] with [Number of Years] years of experience in [Industry], I believe that I would be a great fit for this role. In my current position at [Current Company Name], I have [List a few key accomplishments or responsibilities that match the job description.]

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name] and to discuss how I can contribute to your team.

Cover Letter With Referral from a Client

I’m writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. My client, [Referrer’s Name], suggested that I apply for this role because of my experience in [Industry].

As a [Your Job Title] with [Number of Years] years of experience in [Industry], I am confident that I can make a positive contribution to your team. In my current role at [Current Company Name], I have [List a few key accomplishments or responsibilities that match the job description.]

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name] and to discuss how I can help you achieve your goals.

Cover Letter With Referral from a Professor

I’m excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. My former professor, [Referrer’s Name], recommended that I apply for this role because of my strong analytical skills and attention to detail.

As a recent graduate with a degree in [Field of Study], I am excited about the opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to a real-world setting. In my coursework and internships, I have developed [List a few relevant skills or experiences that match the job description.]

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name] and to contribute to your team.

Cover Letter With Referral from a Professional Contact

I’m writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. My professional contact, [Referrer’s Name], suggested that I apply for this role because of my experience in [Industry] and my skills in [Skill or Expertise].

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about [Company Name] and to discuss how I can contribute to your success.

Cover Letter With Referral from a Volunteer Experience

I’m excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. My volunteer experience with [Referrer’s Organization Name] showed me the importance of [Value or Skill] in the workplace, which is why I believe I would be a great fit for your team.

As a [Your Job Title] with [Number of Years] years of experience in [Industry], I have [List a few key accomplishments or responsibilities that match the job description.]

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to learning more about [Company Name] and to discussing how I can contribute to your mission.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i mention the referral in my cover letter.

Start your cover letter by mentioning the name of the employee who referred you and your relationship with them. For example, “I’m excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name], which I learned about from my former colleague, [Referrer’s Name].” This will help grab the hiring manager’s attention and show that you have a connection with the company.

How do I explain why I’m interested in the job?

Use the body of your cover letter to explain why you’re excited about the opportunity and how your skills and experience make you a good fit for the position. Read the job description carefully and highlight the key skills and experiences that match your own. Use specific examples from your past work or academic experience to demonstrate your qualifications.

Should I use a template for my cover letter?

While it’s okay to use a template, make sure you personalize your cover letter for each job you apply to. Tailor your language to match the job description and the company culture. Use the examples in this article as a starting point, and edit them as needed to fit your own experience and writing style.

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be no more than one page long. Use clear and concise language to convey your qualifications and interest in the job.

What should I do if I don’t know anyone at the company?

If you don’t know anyone at the company, you can still write a strong cover letter that highlights your skills and experience. Use the job description to guide your language and demonstrate your qualifications. Consider doing some research on the company culture and values to show that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the opportunity.

How do I proofread my cover letter?

Proofread your cover letter carefully to catch any spelling or grammar errors. Read it aloud to yourself to ensure that it flows smoothly and makes sense. Ask a friend or family member to review it for you to catch any mistakes you may have missed.

Writing a cover letter with a referral from an employee can be a great way to increase your chances of getting an interview. Use the tips and examples in this article to help you craft a strong, personalized cover letter that showcases your skills and experience. With a little effort and attention to detail, you’ll be on your way to landing your dream job.

  • Referral Cover Letter Examples
  • Referral Cover Letter Sample
  • Cover Letter Friend Referral
  • Job Referral Message Sample
  • Referral Letter Example For A Friend
  • Reference Letter Vs Referral Letter

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Re: ACMD report – ‘A review of the evidence on the use and harms of Xylazine, Medetomidine and Detomidine’

Thank you for your letter of 19 June 2023 where you requested advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on the potential harms of the veterinary medicine xylazine.

The ACMD is pleased to enclose its report describing the use and harms of xylazine. In addition, the ACMD has expanded the scope of the review to also include closely related compounds medetomidine and detomidine. The report includes recommendations on classification and scheduling following a thorough review of the evidence available. The ACMD is grateful to national and international experts who provided their expertise to this review.

The following conclusions were reached after review of these compounds by the ACMD working group:

1. Xylazine, detomidine and medetomidine are prescription veterinary medicines with legitimate uses in a variety of different animal species as sedatives and/or pre-medications prior to use of alternative injectable or inhalational anaesthetics. There are no legitimate uses of these compounds in humans, although dexmedetomidine, the active stereo-isomer of medetomidine, is licensed for use in humans as a sedative for those in intensive care units or undergoing diagnostic or surgical procedures.

2. Information on the acute toxicity of these compounds is largely from intentional and/or accidental exposure in legitimate veterinary practice. It appears that these compounds predominately cause sedation which is unresponsive to naloxone (a treatment for opioid related toxicity) and may require intubation and admission to critical care.

3. Whilst there have been occasional international reports of misuse of detomidine and medetomidine, the ACMD has not been made aware of any evidence of misuse of these compounds in the UK. Currently the risks of health or social harms from the misuse of either of these two compounds in the UK appear small and no further action is warranted at present.

4. Xylazine has been very commonly detected as an adulterant and/or associated with illicit opioids such as fentanyl in North America. It is thought to be added to illicitly synthesised fentanyl to increase and/or prolong the sedative effects of the fentanyl (which are shorter than those of heroin), possibly in part by reducing the metabolism of fentanyl.

5. In the UK to date there is little evidence that individuals are actively seeking to use xylazine. The compound has only been detected in a very small number of analysed samples in which fentanyl has not been co-detected. Instead these samples positive for xylazine have also contained cannabis, benzodiazepines and/or other opioids such as tramadol or codeine. With the reduction in the availability of heroin from Afghanistan, however, there may be an increase in the use of illicitly synthesised fentanyls in the UK opioid market, with the potential for increasing use of xylazine as an enhancer or extender.

6. It is unclear from the literature whether the co-use of illicit opioids with xylazine is associated with more severe toxicity than that seen with the illicit opioids alone. However, xylazine may increase the severity and/or duration of sedation and respiratory depression caused by opioids. The sedative effects associated with xylazine, if used recreationally and/or administered to an individual with malicious intent, could potentially put an individual at risk of accidents or crimes such as assault, robbery or sexual assault. In addition, there are anecdotal and published reports of significant skin ulceration related to the injection of drugs containing xylazine.

7. Qualitative research, reports in the general media and from users on line or engaged with drug treatment services have suggested a higher incidence of skin ulceration associated with the use of xylazine containing drugs that is normally reported. In addition, there have been a small number of peer-review publications describing this issue. To date these reports have largely been from North America rather than from the UK.

8. Dependence and associated withdrawal in individuals thought to be using illicit opioids containing xylazine has been described, although it is unclear whether the features seen in those individuals relates to the xylazine or instead the illicit opioids that the individual will have been also using.

9. Xylazine has been detected in a number of deaths in the UK. It is not clear whether the increase in the number of deaths where it has been detected reflects increased use or more widespread screening for the compound. In all cases, a range of other drugs were detected including classical and novel opioids, stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine), benzodiazepines and other sedatives (pregabalin, diphenhydramine ketamine). The contribution of the detected xylazine to the cause of the reported deaths is currently unclear.

10. Because of the recent increase in the numbers of detections in the UK, the likelihood of further increases in its prevalence and the potential health and social harms associated with xylazine, the ACMD advises that control of xylazine via the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) is necessary. Its harms were considered to be broadly equivalent to those of other sedatives such as benzodiazepines, zopiclone or pregabalin, so listing in Class C is recommended.

11. The ACMD does not wish to hamper the legitimate use of xylazine in veterinary medicine and recognises the lack of evidence of diversion of veterinary supplies to the illicit drug market. For this reason, listing in Schedule 4 Part 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations is recommended, as this does not require Controlled Drug prescription requirements, safe custody arrangements and drug registers.

Based on the evidence available, the ACMD has made the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1

Although there is no evidence of intended use of xylazine at this time in the UK, given the acute toxicity of xylazine and the similarity to the enhanced toxicity seen when benzodiazepines are co-used with opioids, xylazine should be added to Class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

As xylazine has legitimate use as a veterinary medicine, it should be placed in Schedule 4 Part 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (as amended).

Lead: Home Office.

Measure of outcome: The inclusion of the listed compounds in Class C of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and Schedule 4 Part 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.

Recommendation 2

Information should be provided in an appropriate format to the general public (such as Frank) and to harm reduction services on the potential that heroin, fentanyl and other illicit drugs may contain xylazine. This should include information on the potential health effects, including the potential for ulceration associated with the injection of xylazine.

Leads: UK Health Security Agency, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Measure of outcome: Information available for the general public, including those with lived experience.

Recommendation 3

Responsible agencies need to be vigilant and monitor for substances, such as xylazine and related compounds such as detomidine and medetomidine that might be used to augment the opioid market in the UK. This can be done by analysis of seized or submitted drug samples (especially seized heroin and other opioid samples) and analysis of patient toxicology and post mortem samples. These data can then be collected, collated and monitored by the relevant public health agencies in the UK and reviewed by the newly established Synthetic Opioid Taskforce.

Leads: Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Public Health Wales, Public Health Scotland, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, Synthetic Opioid Taskforce

Measure of outcome: Information on substances used to augment the UK opioid market provided to the ACMD by the Synthetic Opioid Taskforce.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss this report in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Owen Bowden-Jones, Chair of the ACMD

Dr David Wood, Xylazine and related substances Working Group Chair

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