The son of a friend of of mine works in a company that I am about to apply for a job with. The job is in the team he works in (one of three people).  Should I mention his name in the cover letter? And if so how should I refer to him? 

He did not refer me to the position - I found it on an employment website then contacted him to see if it was the job he presently works at.

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts. It's really fantastic to receive input from the MT community.


jhack's picture

Did he say that you should contact the company, after you discussed the role with him?  

If so, you can honestly say that he "recommended" you contact the company (even if he didn't originally approach you).  Internal references are very powerful, and will almost certainly result in your resume being read carefully. 

Good luck!

John Hack

phildog's picture

 Many thanks John. He did suggest I apply for it after I spoke to him- I just did not think to ask if he was ok for me to mention his  name. If it's a way to help ensure my resume is read carefully I'd better give him a call.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

You've spoken to him, and it's assumed that you will.

Mention that you've spoken, and he reinforced that which you had heard about the good points of the firm (whatever you choose to elaborate upon, though not too much).

Good luck!


ken_wills's picture

Even with the notation that you know somebody on the team, your resume and cover letter will still come in though that "employment website" along with a flood of others.  If your contact can provide you with the name of the hiring manager or the screening manager, consider mailing your information directly and personally.  Don't risk getting lost among dozens - or hundreds - of undifferentiated applicants.


Good luck!

phildog's picture

Many thanks for your input Mark and Ken. I mentioned his name with wording along the lines of Marks comment. I tried to get him to give me the name of the hiring manager but he said he didn't know and it didn't feel right to push him on it. Maybe I should have pursued it further... Fingers crossed his name in the cover letter helps get me noticed.

PS - thanks Mark (and Mike) for the years of free podcasts. They are hugely helpful!

phildog's picture

My contact at the company I am applying for a job at has now given me the phone number and email address of the hiring manager. I mentioned his name in my cover letter but are now considering contacting the hiring manager directly to increase my chances of landing an interview.

My question is now - should I phone them and say something along the lines of Marks recommendation above or should I email them as KEN_WILLS suggested earlier?

phildog's picture

 Ahhh - now my contact tells me a friend of his in HR has said he should not have given out the hiring managers contact info - so if I contact her directly I risk getting him in trouble.

I could have probably contacted her or worked out her name by simply calling reception and asking - but I really don't want to affect my contact negatively.

What to do?


ken_wills's picture

..stand pat.

You said you mentioned the connection in your cover letter.

Stick with that.  Don't risk decreasing your chances.


Good luck!

phildog's picture

 Many thanks for your thoughts Ken. I'll stand by and cross my fingers!

asteriskrntt1's picture

Phildog, I am missing something here.  You are applying for a position on his team of three and he doesn't know the hiring manager?  Or am I reading this wrong. 

Either way, most companies appreciate referrals to fill a role.  If you are comfortable asking your contact, you could ask him to just mention that you applied and if she could keep an eye out for your resume. Sometimes that is all it takes to get your foot in the door. 

Good luck!