So you are looking for a new job. Your friends and family heard about what happened to you in the last position. Now that some weeks have passed, you have learned that job hunting is all about relationships, who you know. That means asking your friends who they know. But inside you have a conflict. What if your friends don’t want to give you any names? Why would you put them in an awkward position?
Actually, your friends really want to help you. The disconnect is they don’t know how to help you. They are more cautious in giving you names if they don’t know what you are planning to say to their contacts. So, you and your friends get embarrassed and just don’t bring up the topic of job hunting.
There is a better way. Your friends will make all the difference in the world in your job hunting. During high unemployment, the person who knows someone on the inside has an important advantage. They are in the first row. If you don’t know someone inside, don’t waste your time because there is an applicant who knows the general manager or the president.
With that high bar of needing to know someone, let’s focus on how you can do this. Follow these steps:
Step One: Prepare your job search plan. Write it out. It should contain at least two goals:
- You are seeking employment within this type of organization (description of product or service).
- You are seeking a job that is similar to (state a job title).
Step Two: Explain how you plan to contact decision makers in the types of organizations you want to pursue. Offer what you plan to say when you call to ask for an appointment.
Step Three: Make no more than five calls during the morning or afternoon (morning is best). Be sure you have a calling script you have practiced so that you don’t read while you are calling. Remember you are calling a friend of a friend. The person you are calling is doing your mutual friend a favor by seeing you.
Step Four: Don’t ask for a job or even take your resume. Set the goal for your meeting to talk about the economy or the future of the industry. If things appear to be growing or stable, then ask to meet again to discuss the growth process.
If you give your friends this type of a plan and they realize that you will not be hitting on their contacts for a job, the names will begin to flow. You will feel better asking and your friend will feel better doing you a favor. Once you meet with a referral, be sure to thank your friend and explain how the visit went.
You can do it! Keep going!