A referral can give you a big edge over other people when applying for a job. There is nothing more convincing to an employer than having a person from within the industry vouch for you. There are many ways of getting a referral, one of the best ways is through cold emails. 


A cold email is an email that is sent to a recipient without prior contact or permission. 

Here are a few reasons why sending cold emails work best for referrals:

  1. They are sent to an inbox that is checked frequently: Since most professionals check their emails multiple times a day, it is more likely that they will come across your email.
  2. They are not too invasive: Sending cold emails is less invasive as opposed to meeting up with them or calling them since it gives them time to decide whether or not they want to help you.
  3. Quick and easy response: Recipients can reply quickly and easily to cold emails.

Even though cold emails are a great way to contact professionals within the industry for referrals, they also have their shortcomings. A lot of times, they may get lost in a sea of emails or even end up in the recipient’s spam. So to get your cold email noticed, you need to make sure you craft it, so that it makes an impression on the recipient. 

Here is a list of things you should keep in mind while sending cold emails for referrals:

  1. Ask Early
  2. Choose the right person
  3. Send emails that are tailored to each person
  4. Make sure to send it at an appropriate time
  5. Keep it concise
  6. Keep it formal
  7. Attach a resume
  8. Be polite
  9. Give a strong subject line
  10. Do not use templates
  11. Make sure to follow up
  1.  Ask Early

Do not request people to be your reference at the last minute. Make sure you ask them early so that you give them plenty of time to decide. It also gives them the time to give you a glowing recommendation. 

  1. Choose the right person

 While asking for a reference, make sure you ask someone who can convey your skills and assets. Choosing a person who is well known within the industry or with many years of experience is also crucial. Platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to find such professionals.

  1. Send emails that are tailored to each person

Sending personalized emails will tell the recipient that you have given some thought to the process. It shows them that you have put work into understanding them. This conveys the message that you are genuinely interested in them and not asking them for the sake of a referral.So sending a different email to each person will make them more inclined to help you.

  1. Make sure to send it at an appropriate time

 Refrain from sending the email too early in the morning or too late at night. Instead, send the email at a time when the person is most likely to be free.

  1. Keep it concise

 No one likes reading a very long email, especially if they’re busy. Give a clear idea of the kind of job you are applying to and the skillsets you want to showcase. Keep your email short and to-the-point to boost your chances of getting a quick reply.

  1. Keep it formal

 Writing in an informal language may rub the reader the wrong way. Writing using a formal tone will convey a sense of respect and professionalism which will increase your chances of getting a response.

  1. Attach a resume

Sending a resume or CV detailing your previous accomplishments will help the reader get a better idea of your skills and qualities. 

  1. Be polite

Avoid making your email sound like a demand. Make sure that you address them politely. Doing so will avoid them feeling pressured and they may be more inclined to help you. 

  1. Give a strong subject line

 Make sure you give a subject line that stands out and clearly states the content of the email. By doing so, the recipient is more likely to read your email as opposed to ones with little information or appeal.

  1. Do not use templates  

It may be tempting to use templates available online but using them could result in your email being overlooked; since these templates are frequently seen by the recipients. As mentioned above, sending a personalized email is the best way to grab their attention. 

  1. Make sure to follow up

Make sure to send emails thanking the reference and also let them know every time you submit their name as a reference so that they can be prepared in case they are called. Also make sure to let them know the outcome, whether you have been accepted for the position or not. This will help maintain a healthy relationship for the future.

To sum up, a job referral is an important part of any job application process. Acquiring one will only boost your prospects for a job and sending a cold email is the best way to do it. We hope that these tips give you a clear idea of how to send cold emails to get a referral. So don’t be afraid and start emailing!

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