5 Reasons You Didn’t Get A Referral

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Whenever there’s an opening at my day job, I post about it in my alumni channels and on social media. I like seeing people get hired, and frankly, I like getting a bonus when they do. However, just because I can pocket some extra cash doesn’t mean I’ll pass along a referral for just anyone. In fact, there are a lot of referral requests that go right into the circular file. Here’s why your own reference may have skipped out on referring you.

1. Your resume sucks. If you have misspellings on your resume, I am not sending that to my boss. I am sending that to the trash. A referral for you is a reflection on me, and I don’t want your carelessness and disrespect for my time to reflect on me in my boss’ or human resources’ eyes.

2. You’re unqualified. No matter how much I like you, if you have zero experience in the field for which we’re hiring, it’s not going to help — and in the off chance that you do get hired in spite of that, you’re going to be in over your head. I don’t want to do that to you, and I don’t want to do that to your prospective boss. I’d rather help you find (or even just wait for) a position in which you can thrive.

3. You don’t follow directions. If I ask for a one-page resume and you give me a 4-page CV, you’re not following directions. If I ask you to email me and you message me on Facebook instead, you’re not following directions. If you’re not following directions, you’re going to make for a shitty employee.

4. You didn’t do your homework before writing a cover letter. I understand that sometimes it’s hard to actually track down the name of whoever is going to be looking over your paperwork, so if I can, I’ll provide that so you can personalize your cover letter properly. Beyond that, do your research. Tailor your cover letter for the brand for which you’re applying. Don’t send a generic, thesaurus-happy essay listing your skills and experience. Instead, tell me how those skills and experiences will specifically apply to your work in my office.

5. You wanted me to do all the work. Unless I am the one directly hiring you, once I pass you along to human resources or the department head for which you’re applying, it’s out of my hands. If you want to follow up with them, I’ll gladly give you their contact information, but if you nag me to ask them questions for you, I’m not going to do it. Put on your big boy or girl undies and do it your damn self.

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