First of all, I need to say that referrals are absolutely essential in order to maximize your chances of being invited to the real interview.
I have already helped many candidates with referrals to get their invites and, consequently, turn them into job offers. One of my mentees just thanked me on Monday - he got an offer and decided to join Strategy & Dubai.
I would like to explain you the mechanics how referrals usually work:
My mentee sends me the documents (CV and cover letter) for a specific company.
I have a very wide network of friends, former colleagues and ex-mentees on high positions in consulting (partners, principals and managers) across the world. I chat with them individually praising your competences and skills. Afterwards, I ask them to follow your documents on their behalf directly to their HR ladies while putting a word for you.
In that way you may get your “partner referral” which normally brings you in the pole position for the interview. You may compare it to “skipping the line for business class” at the airport.
If you have any questions or need help to get interviews and convert them to offers, just let me know ?