Do you find it hard to call on others to help you with your job search? In your mind you know that you should probably reach out by phone or email to a recruiter or former colleague, but you don’t want to appear to be pushy. After all, if the tables were turned, you probably wouldn’t want to be hounded by someone appearing to be needy looking for a job.
If you find yourself in this situation, there is an easy answer to meaningful enlist the help of others in your job search. First, try a different strategy from what you may be using now. Think of those prospective hirers, referral sources or influencers and instead of thinking “What are the ways they can help me in my job search?” flip the question over to “How can I be of help to them?”
Put yourself in their shoes and consider what value you might be able to provide them. For instance, with a bit more time on your hands than when you were employed, you might be able to scan and glean insights from professional journals, industry news and other sources of information about your field of interest. Forward these relevant links or hard copies of these “clips” to colleagues, recruiters and hiring managers in your field – those individuals that you want to establish a beneficial relationship with or those with whom you want to reconnect.
Attach a cover note highlighting one of the findings in the news clip, maybe a story about recent trends in hiring within your field of expertise. Connect the topic with your own job search and ask the recipient to pass along any leads to you or other information that would be of help to you. Use this mechanism every three to four weeks with your key list of contacts.
This strategy allows you to avoid the one-way “help me” approach that can be a turn-off to both the job searcher and the recipient. Also, it’s possible that one or more of the recipients will forward your email to a larger network and now your name and contact information will make its way to a new circle of helpers.
Once when I was between jobs, I wrote a white paper on the topic of how the trend toward workplace wellness was benefitting both employees and employers. I then forwarded this paper onto several of my contacts and asked for their opinion on the paper and the topic. Asking others for their opinions is always an effect means of engagement. People are often flattered and thus receptive to share their opinion on a topic.
As you continue to forward relevant news, ideas and information to your list of contacts, your name will go from “oh no, not him/her again,” but “I wonder what he/she sent me this week.”
Remember Solomon’s advice, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
Be friendly. Be genuinely helpful to others. You might be surprised that by putting this advice into practice you will gain more active supporters for your job search. And of course, don’t forget the always-available support from your “friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
By Keith Lundquist
For more blogs and related resources on building your faith during a job search, go to www.FaithBetweenJobs.com