If you’re unemployed, you’ve almost certainly said to someone: “Help me get a job.” But when you’re asking this question, what are you really asking for?
The different people in our lives can help us with our job searches in different ways. Before you ask a family member, friend, former co-worker or a past supervisor for job search help, make sure you understand clearly what type of help you are seeking.
Resume Tips from a Pro
For example, if your cousin or friend is a professional writer, ask this person for resume tips. This writer might be able to help you fashion a resume that is clear, succinct and professional, all while deftly highlighting your career accomplishments. This writer may also be able to help you hone your cover letter so that it represents you in the best light possible.
Co-workers can help you Land a Job
What about that former co-worker? When you ask her, “Help me get a job,” what are you asking for? This co-worker might be able to recommend you to her hiring manager or be able to give you advance notice of a future job opening at the company. This help might lead you to the valuable hidden job market – the place where jobs that haven’t yet hit the newspaper “help wanted” section or online job boards reside.
You’ll have a big advantage if you hit the hidden jobs market: It’s far easier to land a position when someone recommends you to a hiring manager than when you’re competing with hundreds of job seekers responding to a Craigslist ad.
Don’t Forget the Neighbors
Maybe one of your neighbors is a consultant for a group of business executives. This person can teach you where to search for jobs. Maybe this consultant knows of an obscure business association that runs their own job listings or knows that the local chamber of commerce holds after hours business events that are great sites for networking. Looking for jobs with the help of someone familiar with the local hiring scene provides you with a great advantage.
These are just three examples of how differently the “help me get a job” request can be filled. Your job is to make sure that you ask for this help from a wide variety of people. The more diverse a crowd of neighbors, friends, family members, former workers, and ex-bosses that you tap into, the better your chances of uncovering that perfect job lead are.
If you need help tapping into your network of acquaintances for job search help, be sure to sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our roster of career search professionals can give you every advantage in your job search.