How to Write the Perfect Thank You Letter for a Job Referral

If someone, particularly a current employee of your target employer, refers you for a job opportunity, they deserve a great thank you!

The person who referred you has put you at the head of the line of people applying for a job.

Only current empoyees have a better chance of landing that job than someone who is referred.

Employee referrals are the Number 1 way employers hire people from outside of the company — a.k.a. “external hires”!

Employers love their employee referral programs (a.k.a., “ERP”) because employees hired through those programs are usually more successful than non-referred employees, stay longer, and also have a lower total cost-of-hire — ALL benefits for the employer.

Often, through the ERP program, the employee making the referral receives a financial reward when the person they referred is hired.

Getting a job referral can be a huge boost to your job search. But effectively leveraging that referral involves more than just showing up for the interview Sending a thoughtful thank you letter to your referral contact shows appreciation and helps nurture the relationship

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover how to master the art of the referral thank you letter. You’ll learn:

  • When to send a referral thank you letter
  • What key elements to include
  • Proven templates and examples
  • Helpful tips to make your letter stand out

Properly thanking your referral contact improves your chance of success and builds your professional network. Let’s dive in!

When Should You Send a Referral Thank You Letter?

First, timing is important when sending a referral thank you letter. Here are three key times when a thank you is appropriate:

1. After the Initial Referral (Frequency: 2)

Once someone has referred you or agreed to provide a recommendation, send an initial thank you. This shows you value their endorsement and support.

Even if the referral doesn’t lead to an interview yet, thank them for vouching for you. Nurture the relationship for future opportunities.

2. After the Interview (Frequency: 3)

Always follow up an interview with a thank you to your referral contact Provide an update on how the meeting went

Thank them again for facilitating the introduction. This keeps your referral partner in the loop on your progress.

3. After Receiving a Job Offer

If you get the job, share the great news with your referral! Thank them for helping make it happen.

Let them know how much you appreciate their role in landing this opportunity. It will make them more willing to refer you again in the future.

What to Include in a Referral Thank You Letter

Every referral thank you letter should contain these core elements:

1. Referrer Name and Professional Title (Frequency: 1)

Address the referrer by name and include their professional title. This personalizes the note and acknowledges their position.

For example:

Dear Dr. Jane Lee,


Hello Mr. John Smith,

2. Expression of Gratitude (Frequency: 1)

Sincerely thank them for taking the time to refer you or provide a recommendation. Be specific about exactly what they did to help.

For example:

“Thank you for referring me for the sales manager position at ABC Company.”

3. Recap of Progress (Frequency: 2)

Provide a brief update on what has happened since the referral. Did you get an interview? How did it go? Did you receive an offer?

Keep them informed so they feel invested in the process.

For example:

“I had my first interview for the role yesterday and wanted to share an update with you.”

4. Next Steps (Optional)

If applicable, share any upcoming next steps in the hiring process and reaffirm your interest in the role. This keeps momentum going.

For example:

“The hiring manager invited me to a second interview next week. I’m looking forward to learning more about the company.”

5. Signed Closing

Close your letter with a phrase like “Sincerely” or “Thank you again” followed by your printed name and signature.

For example:


John Smith”

Now let’s look at email and letter templates that demonstrate these elements.

Referral Thank You Email Template

For a more casual referral follow up, an email thank you note is appropriate.

Here’s a sample template:

Subject: Thank You for the Referral to [Company Name]

Dear [Referrer Name],

I’m writing to sincerely thank you for referring me for the [role name] position at [Company]. I appreciate you taking the time to put me in touch with your contact there.

[If already interviewed: I had the interview with [hiring manager] last week and wanted to update you. I enjoyed learning more about the role and team. I feel the interview went well overall and am excited about the possibility of joining the company.]


[If interview upcoming: My interview for the position is scheduled for next Tuesday. I’m looking forward to discussing my background and qualifications for the role. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!]

Best regards,
[Your name]

This covers all the key points in a compact message. Now let’s look at a more formal letter template.

Referral Thank You Letter Template

For a physical thank you note, use letter formatting as follows:


[Referrer name]
[Company name]
[Street address]
[City, state, zip]

Dear [Mr./Ms. Referrer Last Name],

Thank you for taking the time to refer me for the [full role name] position at [Company name]. I sincerely appreciate you making the introduction on my behalf.

[If already interviewed: Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with [hiring manager name] to discuss my background. I enjoyed learning more about the company and team. Overall, I felt the interview went very well and am hopeful about potentially joining the organization.]


[If interview upcoming: I’m scheduled to interview for the role next Tuesday and am looking forward to further discussing my qualifications. I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress.]

This role strongly aligns with my experience in [relevant industry/function]. Should the company extend an offer, I would be thrilled to have the chance to work alongside such a talented team doing meaningful work.

Once again, thank you for referring me for this opportunity. Please feel free to reach out if I can ever return the favor. I greatly appreciate your support.


[Handwritten signature]
[Your name typed]

This formal letter format covers all the right notes while retaining a personal tone. Send printed and hand-signed for extra care.

Now let’s look at some key tips to make your letter shine.

7 Referral Thank You Letter Tips

Follow these tips to make your thank you stand out:

  1. Send promptly after the referral or any interview. Timing maximizes impact.

  2. Keep it brief yet specific – one page max for letters.

  3. Note specific ways the referral helped your candidacy.

  4. Sound enthusiastic about the potential opportunity.

  5. Offer to return the favor down the road.

  6. Send a handwritten letter for a special touch.

  7. Follow up again if you receive an offer to share the news.

Referral Thank You Letter Examples

Seeing examples helps illustrate what effective referral thank you letters contain.

Email Referral Thank You Example

Subject: Thank You for Referring Me to Broadwell Media

Dear Dr. Winston,

I met with their Director of Marketing, Amanda Jones. We had a great conversation about my background in digital marketing and content creation. I truly enjoyed learning more about Broadwell’s brand voice and creative campaigns. Overall, I felt the interview went very well.

Ms. Jones mentioned they still have a few more candidates to speak with before making a decision. But I’m feeling very excited about the possibility of joining the Broadwell team. I believe my skills and experience could allow me to add value in this role.


Letter Referral Thank You Example

June 5, 2023

Mr. Kevin Thompson
Director of Operations
ABC Technologies
123 Business Rd.
Detroit, MI 54321

Dear Mr. Thompson,

I wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for referring me to the Project Manager role at ABC Technologies. I truly appreciate you recommending me for the position.

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of interviewing with ABC’s head of Engineering, Ava Willis. We had an engaging discussion about my background managing software implementations and leading technical teams. I enjoyed learning more about ABC’s product roadmap and mission. Overall, the interview went very well.

Best regards,

Michael Scott

Get That Referral Thank You

how to write thank you letter for job referral

Formal Thank You Note

For a formal message, typed (or hand written) and sent in a stamped envelope, use the formal business letter format like this:

Your street address Your City, State and Zip Code

Date of the letter

Name of the Recipient Job Title of the Recipient Name of the Employer Employer’s Street Address Employer’s City, State and Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name:

Thank you very much for referring me to the[Job Title] position at [Employer Name]! I interviewed for the job today [or yesterday or the date] with [Name and Job Title], [Name and Job Title], and [Name and Job Title] at [location, if relevant].

I think the interviews went well, and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about [Employer Name]. I look forward to the next steps in the hiring process. [Name] told me that they would be in touch in [timeframe]. If you would like, I will keep you posted.

Again, thank you for your help. I greatly appreciate your assistance.

[your name] [Your tagline, like “eCommerce Customer Support Specialist”] [Your job search email address]

Emailed Thank You Note

When you have a less formal relationship with the employee who made the referral, particularly if you have been communicating via email or if you email this person regularly on other matters, email should be appropriate.

Subject: Latest update on your referral to [Job Title] position!

Dear [first name or Mr./Ms. Last Name]:

Thank you very much for referring me to the[Job Title] position at [Employer Name]! I greatly appreciate the time and effort you expended on my behalf.

I interviewed for the job today [or yesterday or the date] with [Name and Job Title], [Name and Job Title], and [Name and Job Title] at [location, if relevant].

I think the interviews went well, and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about [Employer Name]. [Name] told me that they would be in touch in [time frame] for the next steps in the process. If you would like, I will keep you posted about any progress being made.

[If the person helped you prepare for the interview or offered you advice and guidance, you might want to briefly share an example of how that help or advice was useful.]

I look forward to moving on to the next steps in this hiring process.

Again, thank you for your referral [or referral and help, if appropriate].Your assistance was essential.

[Your name] [Your job title or tagline, like “eCommerce Customer Support Specialist”] [LinkedIn Profile URL] [Phone number — not your work number if you are employed]

How to write a thank you letter for a job offer

How do I write a referral thank you note?

Use the following template as a guide when creating your referral thank you note: [Date] [Recipient’s name], [recipient’s job title or department] [Recipient’s address, if mailing] [Recipient’s organization] [Greeting] [Body] [Closing] [Your first and last name], [your job title] [Your company] [Phone number]

What is a sample thank-you letter for a referral?

Sample Thank-You Letter for a Referral (Text Version) 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.

How do you thank a referrer for a job search?

If you commonly exchange emails with your referrer, you could send your thank you electronically. You can send both a brief email that acknowledges the recommendation letter and a formal letter later if you are unsure of what format to use. You can use the letter to add more details about your job search progress.

Should you send a thank-you note after a referral?

Whether you obtained value from the referral, aim to always send a thank-you note. You may email this note or handwrite it and mail it. Emailing a thank-you note guarantees its delivery. In comparison, handwriting a letter may be a more personalized way to show your gratitude. Why is it important to write a thank-you note following a referral?

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