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article imageLinkedIn adds new feature to let you 'ask for a referral'

By James Walker     Mar 19, 2018 in Technology
LinkedIn is rolling out a new feature that lets jobseekers ask for referrals before submitting an application. The addition is intended to let users make better use of their network of professional connections by involving them in the application process.
LinkedIn announced the change in a blog post today. It's already rolling out across platforms to LinkedIn users. The company said the feature has been developed based on research into how people find new jobs. The most common way people hear about an opening is through someone they already know.
With "Ask for a Referral," you can utilise your contacts to improve your profile when applying for a job. The feature covers three distinct use cases that each use your contacts list to help you while job searching. These include the ability to filter jobs to show positions where you already know someone and the new "Ask for a Referral" button.
This button displays when you view job listings where you already know someone at the company. Tapping the button on the listing will display a form that lets you select a contact. After adding a message and pressing send, LinkedIn will send a notification to your contact letting them know you asked for a referral.
According to LinkedIn, applicants should carefully consider the contents of their referral request messages. While this may be less important if you already know your contact in-person, in many cases your only link may be through a professional connection or LinkedIn itself.
LinkedIn  Ask for a Referral
LinkedIn "Ask for a Referral"
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The company suggested you remind contacts of how they know you and the things you have in common. You could then share reasons why you'd be a good fit for the position, before explaining why you're interested in the role. LinkedIn's research suggests this approach will be the most effective in generating positive referrals from contacts.
After you’ve received a referral, it will display on your job application once you submit it to the company. They'll be able to see you have an existing connection who has endorsed you for the position, which could improve your chances of getting the job. LinkedIn said you're four times more likely to hear back from a recruiter if you've already obtained a referral.
"If you’ve had your eye on a specific role or have always wanted to work for a particular company, referrals are one of the best ways to get your foot in the door," said LinkedIn. "In fact, the #1 way that job seekers have reported first discovering a job, was through someone they knew. Not that surprising as nearly 50% of recruiters say referrals are the leading source of quality hires."
Ask for a Referral is one of several new features launched by LinkedIn over the past few months, including improved data analytics and integrations into Microsoft Word. It comes as the company, now owned by Microsoft, faces increased competition from emerging rivals such as Facebook. Ask for a Referral is another way for LinkedIn to differentiate itself, while making your network of connections a more valuable asset.
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