Since being laid off, I have spent hundreds of hours researching career opportunities, building my network and helping others with their job searches. I quickly discovered that while we all seek support from our networks, we haven’t necessarily figured how to make it as easy as possible for our contacts to help us on our search. If you’ve ever been asked, you know it requires some thought and involves some pressure to offer the help you’d like to provide.
Here are 3 steps to “Help Your Network Help You” in your job search.
- Be specific about what you need
- Connection to a specific job opportunity or general networking leads?
- Advice and feedback on your resume or general job search advice?
- A personal or professional reference?
- A sounding board or drinking buddy?
- Be prepared to share the parameters of your search
- Do you want to stay in the same profession or are you looking to explore a new field?
- What companies are you interested in?
- Are you open to relocation? If yes, what are your top three preferred locations?
- Are you looking for full-time, part-time, consulting or contract work? Are you available for travel?
- Is your salary fixed or negotiable?
- Are you determined to have the same title or level or would you consider lateral or other moves?
- Arm your network with the tools to easily share your info with their network
- Prepare your resume and cover letter. Have these done professionally if you can afford it.
- Take the time to write an email introduction for your contact to use, describing who you are and highlighting what makes you unique. This can be personalized by your contact to make quick and easy virtual introductions.
- Be sure to provide current contact info that includes email, phone, and the best way and times to reach you.
- Finally, be sure your linkedin, facebook and other social media profiles are professional and do not contradict the image your contact is vouching for.
While these few steps may seem simple and self-evident, they are some of the most productive steps you can take in your job search journey. Good luck in your search and don’t forget to thank your contacts and pay it forward when others are seeking your help.
What other steps have you taken to make it easy for your network to help you in your job search? Share your experiences in the comments section and “share this” with your network, it’s easy.