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Last week I applied to a position at a software company. Today a HR contacted me and told me,that they have received my application and will contact me in a couple of days, if they see me fit for an interview.

On another note I have also found out that one of my friend works at the same company. I'm thinking about contacting him and asking for a referral, but I'm not sure if I should do so, since I a HR has already acknowledged my application.

Would it be OK for me to ask my friend to refer me to the company he's working for, even after I have already send my application.

  • Would that put your friend in an awkward position. Also how much of a friend is this person if you did not know who this person worked for before applying? – Ed Heal Jan 18 '16 at 20:46
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    @EdHeal I have a number of friends that I don't know the name of the company they work for? I could not tell you the name the company my sister works for. – paparazzo Jan 19 '16 at 5:51
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Would it be OK for me to ask my friend to refer me to the company he's working for, even after I have already send my application.

Certainly. I've done this for friends in the past.

It's unfortunate that you hadn't asked your friend before sending in your application, since you could have mentioned that referral in your cover letter or in an online application form. But it's not too late.

Contact your friend now. Tell him that you have already applied, and ask if he would put in a good word for you with HR and with the hiring manager.

Make sure your friend knows specifically which job you have applied for and mentions that to HR. If you found the job online, it often indicates the requisition number.

Your friend could easily be happy to help. Sometimes companies offer referral bonuses. If so, your friend could get a nice reward if you are hired and stick around for at least a few months. Even if there is no bonus, it's often a plus for your political capital when you help bring a terrific new employee aboard.

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If your friend has a good reputation and will give you a positive reference, yes. If not, no. Do it quickly, before a next decision round is made.

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Joe Strazzere's advice is very good, especially if your friend can vouch for your technical abilities. One of the toughest things about hiring for an IT position is that it's very difficult to tell how good anyone is by looking at a resume. IT resumes typically have everything that anyone has looked sideways at a few times, to catch the eye of the computer.

Someone is looking for someone who knows backbone.js, for example. A recruiter will enter "backbone.js" into a search application, and get a list of all the resumes that have that string on them. They usually have little if any idea how much exposure a given individual has to backbone.js. Most resumes are structured to get as many of those kinds of hits as possible.

So, you're competing with every other resume that the HR people have for the position. People talk all the time about how to make a resume stand out in a crowd, but there's nothing that will make it stand out more than Jimmy Rockstar telling his boss that a friend of his knows his stuff and he ought to have him in for an interview.

So by all means ask your friend to put in a word for you. If you don't want to put him on the spot, then ask him to tell you about the job, what it's like to work for the company, that sort of thing. You're interviewing him, to see if you think you would fit in well at the company, that sort of thing. (Maybe you wouldn't be happy there, after all. For example, maybe they make you get up and sing the company fight song once a day, and that just isn't your thing. Or maybe they make you come in at precisely 8 and leave at precisely 5, with an hour for lunch at noon, and you prefer to manage your own time a bit more than that.) It's always a good idea to get a friend's input about the company culture. If your friend is enthusiastic about getting you in, then he (she) will be glad to pick out your resume and ask the boss to have a look at it.

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