I have been referred to a job by several former associates at a company I applying for. Their online application has a spot for a referrer, but I wonder if including their names on the cover letter would add to my application.

The upside is whoever is skimming my cover letter will see I have a solid reputation and may consider digging deeper into my application, but the downside is it might be seen as "name dropping" and trying to get in based on people I know.

Is it appropriate to mention that I am being referred by current employees on a cover letter?


3 Answers 3


Absolutely! This is no different than listing relevant skills that are related to the position. If employees already on the "inside" can increase your chances of getting the job, why not?

Do this ONLY with referrers who can vouch for your business experience. Don't do this if you've been referred by Grandma or Uncle Skip.

  • "This is no different than listing relevant skills that are related to the position." I disagree. I'm fairly certain a person looking to fill a role would weigh your skills, abilities, accomplishments, and job history much higher than the fact that you have a bunch of buddies that think you would be a good fit.
    – dfundako
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 21:04
  • cover letters shouldn't be "lists of relevant skills" - it is simply your introduction
    – HorusKol
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 22:52

I would recommend against it. Based on your post, it sounds like these associates are no longer at the company you are applying to. An HR person who is reviewing your cover letter may not even recognize the names or be able to find them in the current email directory.

I would use the fact you are being referred as the cherry on top and instead focus on making the case of why you are a good fit through your actual skills, abilities, accomplishments, and job history. Those are the things that will ensure you are taken seriously during consideration for the role. Your application will already get a check in the box that indicates its a (internal?) referral.

The referral can be used as a good talking point during the interview. "Joe, Mike, and Dave actually recommended I apply for this position. I have heard them mention several times how great the company is, how much fun everyone is, etc. etc".

  • The referrers are former associates of the asker, but current employees of the target company
    – AakashM
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 10:20

No - a cover letter is not the right place for referee details. The cover letter should be two or three paragraphs where you introduce yourself and state what you are applying for; write a bit about your current position and previous experience which is relevant to the role (don't just list a bunch of technology/acronyms); and say what it is you are looking for in a job (again, relevant to the job posting).

Referees go at the end of a CV (or wherever the online application is asking you to provide them), or are sent after initial screening if you don't want to provide them up front.

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