Your network of connections is an important resource to tap during a job search. These people can help you in several ways, including introducing you to new contacts, getting you “in” at a company you’d like to work for, and referring you to unadvertised job openings.
It can feel awkward for many people to tell their networking connections they’re job searching. You might wonder: What do I say? How can I get their help without seeming desperate or annoying? Consider the following ways to reach out to someone who could help you excel in your job search:
- Call. Close friends, family members, and former co-workers or supervisors are folks you know well and hopefully don’t feel odd about contacting via phone. Get back in touch with these people by calling them to catch up and update them on your job search. If you are unsure of their current schedule, you might want to schedule the phone call in advance via email or ask if it’s a good time when you do call.
- Send a message. You’re probably connected with tens or hundreds of people online that can help you land your next job. Whether you’re looking to your email contacts, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform, choose a few professional connections to reach out to via message for assistance in your job search. You might want to look at their contacts or current company to see just how they might be able to help you excel in landing your next job. And remember, you need to provide value to your contacts, too – networking is not a one-way street.
- Invite them out for coffee or lunch. Organizing an informal in-person meeting can help you solidify your relationship with the individual and pick their brain about the industry or their company. People are generally open to meeting up with a network contact, especially if they can take an hour or two out of their busy schedule to help a fellow professional.
- Ask them to tag along at a professional event with you. Attending an upcoming conference, meetup or professional association meeting? Consider inviting a network contact to the event to get to know them better. The conversation will likely lead to their current job and your job search, which is your chance to ask if they know of any openings or other contacts who may be able to help you in your search.
- Send them an article they might be interested in. Providing value of any kind is a prime way to keep in touch with connections. See a blog post that’s right up their alley? Email it to them or send it via social media. Let them know that you’re thinking about them and they may do the same.
What’s a great example of an email or phone call you’ve received from a job seeker looking for assistance on landing their next job?