When times get rough, your family and friends are there for support. So, it’s only natural to turn to them for help when you’re looking for work. In fact, about one in three people find a job through friends.
However, before you reach out to your social circle, make sure you have a plan.
Plan Your Approach
First, make a detailed list of the people you want to approach for assistance with your job hunt. Include family and friends, as well as former co-workers and supervisors with whom you’ve stayed in touch.
Next, note their career information. Where do these people work now? Where did they work in the past? Do they work in a profession you want to pursue? Make special note of any contacts employed at a company you’re interested in investigating.
Finally, pinpoint the type of help you need. Are you looking for advice? The name of the hiring manager? An introduction to the head of a specific department? An inside track on job leads?
What you ask may depend on who you’re asking. That’s another reason to create a detailed list to focus your thoughts. Being specific makes it easier for people to understand exactly the kind of help you are requesting.
You may feel uncomfortable asking for help, but networking is a valued business tactic. In fact, many companies have reward programs for staff who refer a friend or family member who becomes a new hire.
- Ask, don’t demand. No one needs to help you in your job search. People are more inclined to help if you have a good attitude.
- Do your homework. If you’re targeting a specific position, make sure you’re right for the job. As The Muse reminds job seekers, “While a family member might be able to get you a foot in the door, if you’re not qualified to be in that office in the first place, it won’t reflect positively on you – or on her.”
- Respect the fact that they are doing you a favor, often putting their own professional reputation on the line.
- Give them the best version of yourself to share, notes LinkedIn. This could include your updated LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, or polished resume to pass along as part of your introduction.
- Forbes offers some great additional networking “Do’s and Don’ts.”
Other Social Graces
Remember when mom insisted you send a thank you note to Aunt Marge for that pair of fuzzy slippers? You also should thank her for any career assistance she offers – whether or not it leads to an interview or job offer. And don’t forget to provide timely career updates, especially if her assistance proved helpful. She’s sure to ask next time she sees you – or your mother.
Add Pro Resources to your list of contacts, too! Our recruiters have placed thousands of workers in new positions throughout Central and Northern Indiana.