GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY

How to Name Drop In A Cover Letter

Connections make the world go round.

If you want to test this theory, take two minutes and jot down a list of people who've played a role in the journey to your current position. Every mentor, stranger on a plane, or former boss has unique insights, and it's possible that without those insights, you wouldn't have the career you do today.


So, if you find yourself applying for a new opportunity thanks to one of these people, how can you intentionally acknowledge someone as a referral? In other words, how can you name drop in a cover letter to help you stand out? Keep in mind that name-dropping is a form of networking, and "Networking is building and maintaining relationships over time… because you never know when they'll come in handy." So, be your own PR agent - after all, you know yourself best!

Name dropping, in general, has a reputation for being sleazy and uncomfortable. But there are strategies you can use when name-dropping to add a personal touch to your application without sounding like you're relying solely on your connections to get a foot in the door.

Introducing yourself and tactfully mentioning the person who referred you to the role in the opening paragraph can help your application stand out.

Check out the three common situations below in which you may want to name drop in your cover letter and examples for how to do so in each.

---

If you're being recommended by a colleague:

Example

"Your Senior Manager of Marketing, Lauren Smith, managed me at PowerToFly and recommended I apply for the Content Marketing Associate position at [Company Name]. Under her lead, I was promoted twice and spearheaded... "

DO mention your contact in the first paragraph of your cover letter, what they do at the company, and how you know them.

DO make sure you have the approval of the person you are mentioning

DON'T keep the entire focus of your introduction on your contact (you should be the focus of your cover letter!) or sound arrogant when mentioning you know them.

---

If you met the Hiring Manager at an event:

Example

"It was a pleasure meeting you at the PowerToFly event on April 12th in New York, and per your recommendation, I would like to apply to the Senior Software Engineering Role at [Company Name]. In light of our conversation about [Project X], I'm confident that my experience in _______ would allow me to excel in the role."

DO mention what event you attended and where/ when it was held. Hiring managers attend multiple events, be specific.

DO make a connection to your conversation and explain why it led you to apply.

DON'T forget about the job description. Regardless of what your conversation was about at the event, after the introduction, your cover letter should neatly tie your experiences to the job description.

---

If you've never met, but have been influenced by someone at the company:

Example

After watching the PowerToFly Chat & Learn series on Diversity with Dionna, your Diversity and Inclusion Executive, I felt inspired to apply to your Diversity and Inclusion Associate role. It really resonated with me when Dionna said she "loves helping companies grow to their fullest potential" because for the last five years I've led my team in multiple diversity initiatives…

DO be specific about what content you read/watched and why it made an impact on you.

DO verify that this person still works at the company you're applying to.

DON'T use content that isn't relevant to the role you are applying to. Save this inspiration for your interview.

---

Ultimately, by name dropping, you are leveraging your communication skills (must have!) and helping the hiring manager connect the dots to who you know at the company.

It can be difficult to praise yourself and convey why these connections matter in just a few words on paper, but a small connection could make a large impact on whether or not you move to the next step of the interview process.

popular

How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Relativity

How Relativity’s Monika Wąż Conquered Fear to Find Her Dream Career

There's a phrase in her native Polish that Monika Wąż reminds herself of each day: "If you don't learn, you're just going backward."

The Associate Product Manager at legal and compliance technology company Relativity says she would believe in a growth-centered approach to work even if she wasn't in the tech field, but that it's especially important because she is.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Videos

Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020