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About six months ago I started work at a new company. Recently they asked me if I could refer anybody, and there is someone I know who I believe would be a good fit.

I talked to this person, and they expressed an interest in getting the referral. I wrote up a reference letter and was just about to send it to our hiring manager, when I realized something: if someone wrote a reference letter about me, I might want to see it first to make sure they don't do any "false advertising". For example, they might boast qualities I don't have, or they might emphasize a different set of qualities than I would have personally chosen to present to a potential employer.

So, should I offer this person the chance to greenlight the reference letter before I send it? Also, is it common courtesy to CC/BCC them on the referral e-mail thread?

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  • Keep in mind that if against all expectations the person turns out to be not a good fit, it's you who has referred them. I'd be careful with that. Besides that, shouldn't the person apply to the company before this letter comes into play?
    – puck
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 8:32

2 Answers 2

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So, should I offer this person the chance to greenlight the reference letter before I send it?

Yes

Also, is it common courtesy to CC/BCC them on the referral e-mail thread?

No

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I suspect you're overthinking this.

For academic references (mba programs spring to mind) you would ask them to give you the gist of what to say, and then you'd write that. You would add you own color to the reference, but generally highlight the things they wanted highlighted.

For a job reference, you don't need to write something so elaborate. A simple "I recommend this person" is basically enough, but also needs how you know them and their work, and why you think they'd fit in culturally.

that's about it.

Do not cc or bcc them, you aren't arranging a meeting, you are just sending a recommendation. If interested you'll be asked for their cv.

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