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When Someone Refers You for a Job

The easiest and most effective way to get a job is through networking.  Managers are always more comfortable hiring people they know, or that are at least in their network.  However, getting a job through somebody you know can be tricky.  You need to handle the situation carefully or you risk burining the bridge.  Here are some tips that will allow you to make the most of this opportunity:

Be appreciative.  Make no mistake- this person is doing you a huge favour.  By referring you as a candidate, they are taking a risk and making it significantly more likely that you will get an interview.  It is important that you take the time to say thank you.

Do your homework.  Having someone refer you for the position is just a foot in the door; you still have to do the work if you want to step through it.  This means doing research on the company, learning about the position and customizing your resume and cover letter.  Doing this work will give you the best possible chance of being successful.

Follow up.  If someone is willing to advocate for you, make it easy for them.  Respond to their emails and phone calls quickly and send them information as soon as they requiest it.  Any hesitation on your part may be interpreted as a lack of interest. 

Be honest.  If you are no longer interested in the position, it is important that you tell the person who is referring you.  Thank them for their help and let them know why the job won't work for you.  Most people will understand and will appreciate that you were up front with them. 

Remember that your behaviour reflects on the person who referred you.  It is always important that you behave professionally but when you are being referred it is absolutely essential.  Make them look good and they will be much more likely to refer you again.

Congratulations!  If you are using your network to open up doors, your chances of success are significantly higher.  Just don't forget to return the favour when you are happily employed.