Don’t Ask “Help Me Get a Job” Without Proving Your Credentials

February 1, 2012

Job Hunt, Networking, Résumé

Finding a job is no easy task today. The U.S. unemployment rate may have finally fallen below 9 percent in December, but jobs are still scarce and the competition for open positions is still fierce. In a hiring environment such as this, recommendations from former co-workers or bosses can make the difference between landing a job and not. But you can’t just ask your networking contacts “Help me get a job.” You have to provide them a reason why they should recommend you for an open position.

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Finding a Job Today

Remember, when colleagues recommend you for a particular job opening, these business professionals are putting their own reputations on the line. If they recommend you for a job and you turn out to be a poor fit for the position, it reflects poorly on them. If you want your former co-workers, past bosses, or former professors to recommend you to hiring managers, you’ll have to give these business professionals reasons to make that recommendation.

Networking Skills Matter

Think of asking for a job recommendation as participating in a job interview. You are trying to sell your colleagues on your skills so that they will feel comfortable recommending you to one of their business associates.

When making a professional career change, tell your networking contacts exactly what you’ve accomplished at your most recent positions. Tell them if you’ve managed to save your past employers money, if you spearheaded the release of a successful new product, or if you crafted a much-praised marketing campaign. Tell your networking contacts exactly why you’d be right for the position for which you are seeking a recommendation and remind your contacts of any business honors or accolades that you’ve received during your career.

The Power of Job Recommendations

Nabbing a recommendation is a testament to your networking skills. If you’re a strong networker, and you already have a strong career behind you, you should have little trouble earning these highly prized professional recommendations. And in today’s hiring market, a recommendation can be the key piece in finding a job.

If you need help gaining professional job recommendations, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our career professionals can give you the skills you need to inspire confidence in your network of business contacts the next time that you ask, “Help me get a job.”



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