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When applying for an internship there is a section on the form asking if I was referred by a current employee. Although I wasn't referred directly for the internship I have been in contact with a recruiter from the company who has talked to me about other opportunities. I have asked the recruiter if they would be ok with me putting their name down in my application but they are yet to reply. I'm getting somewhat antsy and want to submit my application but if having a referal makes my application more competitive then I am willing to wait a bit longer.

I know that at many companies you can get a bonus for refering an applicant that is then hired, what I don't know is if having a referal makes you a better candidate because you have some degree of social proof?

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    I suppose a lot depends on the reputation of the person doing the referring. I'm not clear how this adds much to your "social proof" whatever that is.
    – jwh20
    Oct 6, 2021 at 16:55
  • A recruiter FOR the company or a recruiter WITH the company? That makes a huge difference, an external reference by (FOR) isn't a referral at all, it's just a standard reference.
    – jmoreno
    Oct 7, 2021 at 3:36

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I know that at many companies you can get a bonus for refering an applicant that is then hired, what I don't know is if having a referal makes you a better candidate because you have some degree of social proof?

Having an internal referral is virtually always an advantage.

How much of an advantage it provides depends on who the referrer is, how well they know you and can vouch for your ability, and the opinion of the hiring manager.

When I was hiring, having an internal referral would mean you would always get an interview, out of professional courtesy to the referrer. Many times the initial interview would be on the phone, but sometimes even in person.

If the referrer was someone whose opinion I valued highly, you would have a distinct advantage from the start.

Having an internal referral never means you automatically get the job. But it is almost always better than not having a referral.

That said, unless you know this recruiter personally, or have worked with them in the past, it wouldn't seem like much of an advantage at all. I'm guessing there's no way this recruiter could vouch for your professional abilities.

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