Whether you are an entry-level job candidate or an experienced professional advancing on your career ladder, it’s important to develop and maintain lasting relationships with colleagues in your industry.
Those connections can be key in getting hired for a new job, especially if they are willing to recommend for a job at their company.
Having a professional contact willing to refer you for a desirable job position can make the difference in whether you score an interview or not.
One way to cement that relationship is to relay your thanks in writing to contacts who refer you for a job, even if you didn't get a job offer.
In addition, your email or note will let them know the status of your application and may keep them on the lookout for other positions to refer you to.
What to Include in Your Referral Thank-You Letter
When you're saying thank you, it's important to properly and formally thank those who have taken the time and used their influence to provide you with a positive referral. Here are examples of thank you letters which you can send (via email, mail, or LinkedIn) to a person who has referred you for a job.
Provide a Status Update
When you write the letter or email message, be sure to give the person a status update on your application or job offer, as well as thank them sincerely for the referral.
Use a Clear Email Subject Line
If you are sending a thank you message by email, there is no need to include your return address or your contact's address. Utilize a clear subject line (for example, “Thank you from [Your Name]” or "Thank You - [Your Name]) and list your contact information in your signature.
Address Your Letter Appropriately
You should base your decision on how to address the recipient according to how well you know them.
If you have known and communicated with them frequently, it’s fine to address them by their first name.
If, however, they have been your supervisor or college instructor within a formal, conservative setting, use “Mr. / Ms. / Professor” followed by their surname.
Keep in mind that these samples are provided simply as examples—rather than merely copy-and-pasting them, you should tailor them to reflect your own circumstances and personal tone of voice.
Also, see below for an example of an email thank you letter for a referral.
Sample Thank-You Letters for a Job Referral
This is a sample thank-you letter for a referral. Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Sample Thank-You Letter for a Referral (Text Version)
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr. Jones,
Thank you so very much for referring me for the Junior Accountant [or, insert other job titles] position at ABCD. I am grateful for the time you spent reviewing my application and recommending me for the job.
I wanted to share with you the exciting news that I have been selected for an in-person interview with ABCD’s hiring manager next week. When she called me to set up a time for this interview, she specifically mentioned how impressed she was by the referral letter which you wrote on my behalf.
Again, thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided me; I’ll keep you posted on how the interview goes!
Your Name (signature hard copy letter)
Thank-You Letter for Referral Email
Subject: Thank You From Dave
Thank you both for alerting me to the recent job opening at your company and for voluntarily offering to provide your hiring committee with a referral on my behalf. HFT Industries has a wonderful reputation as an industry leader, and I really appreciate your confidence in me.
I think my interview with Stanley went well, and I expect to meet with Sheila later this week for a second interview. Stanley’s description of the company and of what my responsibilities would encompass, should I be hired, solidified my deep interest in joining your team. I'll keep you posted as I go through the hiring process.
Again, thank you for your support – I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we may soon be colleagues at HFT Industries!
Thank-You Letter for When You Got the Job
Subject: Thank you!
I’m writing today to thank you for introducing me to Bob Anderson, the store manager at Eckles Hardware. Not only did I get an interview for a retail position, but I was also hired and I’ll be starting my training in two weeks.
Please let me know if I can ever do anything to return the favor. I truly appreciate what you’ve done for me.
More About Thank-You Letters
Review advice on how to write a thank-you letter, including who to thank, what to write, and when to write an employment-related thank you letter.
Also, review other sample thank-you letters, which include a thank you note for a job interview, an internship thank you letter, thanks for an informational interview, thanks for the help, and a variety of additional interview thank you letter samples.