Can I help you with 5 genuine & effective ways
to ask your network connections & friends for job search help?
You’re all set to go. Your resume and your LinkedIn profile are all professionally optimised and aligned to your target positions. It’s time to reach out to your friends network. But, what’s the right strategy and how do you actually achieve results?
I know from experience that most people are open to being contacted, and those who want to know you are also often ready to provide help. However, it’s important to know how to ask for help and how to make their job easier, so they can actually help you get better results without it becoming a major project. Remember, everyone likes easy and no stress. This is the step that most people miss: asking the right people for the right things, in the right way.
So, to ensure that you get the most out of “networking” I’ve put together a five-step plan — sample email text included — so you can enlist the help of your friends and LinkedIn network as you’re looking for a job.
Step 1: Sketch up your pitch points
Your resume should be ready and on standby if required, but most people will find it much easier and quicker to look at a short, bulleted list of where you’ve been and where you want to go. You will be amazed how little both your friends and connections actually know about what you really do for a living, so avoid assuming that they do. This should take no more than 5-10 minutes to pull together, but it will deliver serious help.
Here is what you need to include:
- A list of your last three position titles, companies you’ve worked for, and responsibilities. Think about it like your mini resume, but condensed into three bullets. This demonstrates clarity and preparation and works a bit like an ice breaker.
- Your ideal job title and function, as well as other job titles and functions you’d consider. Remember to use only what you are truly skilled and suited for.
- A list of 4-5 companies you’d love to work for, plus their locations. This will help your network and friends to visualise how their own network and options could assist you.
- Maintenance Manager, UBS Facilities Melbourne: Served as main point of contact for tenants and suppliers including utility services
- Building Manager, Meriton, Sydney: Responsible for 3 High Rise, mix commercial/residential buildings in Sydney CBD with 450 tenants
- Maintenance Coordinator, Downer EDI: 2 year contractor on various civil construction and mining projects in Western Australia and New South Wales
- Maintenance Manager, Civil Construction or FIFO
- Building Supervisor / Superintendent
- Maintenance Supervisor, FIFO or contractor to large civil construction projects
- Thiess, John Holland or Leighton
- Mirvac or Stockland
- Inpex, EC&M or Connect Source
- Open to relocation / any shift
Step 2: Map your network contacts and send your bulk email
Your next step is to map and select your network contacts. Generally, avoid mentors, former managers or co-workers who you’re close to, and anyone who works for your dream companies. (more on that later)
Draft an email in which you share that you’re looking for a new position, and that you would really appreciate their help. Ensure to be simple and more importantly specific about what you’re asking for. Is it job leads or something else? Vague messages get vague or no responses.
Also include all the details about you: your current position and company, the length of time you’ve been there, and what you’re looking for and where. Even if your friends know this information, this email may be passed around to people who don’t know you well. Finally, include your bullet- ed talking points at the end of the email, and attach your (hopefully professional and updated) resume.
I hope all is well!
You may know that I have been at my current position as Maintenance Manager for UBS for almost 3 years. I have decided to search for a new position in the civil construction maintenance field and I am seeking some help with potential job leads or introductions to key industry contacts.
I am looking for a mid-level position in Melbourne or Sydney, preferably in the civil construction, maintenance or building management field. I am particularly keen to change careers away from big project remote field work. Whilst my ideal target companies are the big players, I would also consider working for a local company or a new venture business.
If you know or hear of any job opportunities or leads in these areas, I would really appreciate the assistance. To make things easier for you, I have created a brief bullet summary of my current job search strategy and I have also attached my resume. Feel free to pass it along.
Many thanks for your consideration! I sincerely appreciate it and, of course, am more than happy to help you out if I can.
Step 3: Send individual / personalised emails
If possible on the same day as Step 2, show that you value certain key friendships or Level 1 connections and actually draft and deliver personalised emails to this select group, who you think might be able to help you out in a specific way.
Keep it smart, short, simple and don’t beg. Be brave and don’t be afraid to suggest introductions or job leads at a particular company. You can also suggest or request informational interviews, general advice on companies and positions, general feedback or even meeting over a coffee at their convenience.
I hope you are well. I saw your most recent Facebook post and wanted to congratulate you on xyz. I’m also messaging you to let you know that I am searching for a new position. As you know, I have been with UBS for almost three years and it’s time to change careers and move into another company and position.
I know that you used to do work for Stockland, which is on my list of preferred employers. Do you still have any contacts there, or can you maybe share some news, insights, tips or maybe even job leads with me? Any introductions you could make would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your help! Please keep me posted on how things are going and if there’s anything I can do to return the favour.
Step 4: Follow up, but do not pester or stalk your friends or networkers for feedback
Remember that good things will come to those who are patient and know how to wait. Real friends will consider your message, but not necessarily respond right away. Assume that they’re keeping their eyes out and that you’ll be on their radar if any opportunities come their way.
Give it at least a month, and if you haven’t received many responses send a follow-up email / inmail (LinkedIn) to those you reached out personally to.
Step 5: Praise – say thank you – be genuine
Do not, under any circumstances, forget to send a personal “Thank you” to every single person who responded to your email or offers to help you out, no matter how small or large the help offered is. People value feedback and they expect a thank you.
It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you. These friends might need you one day, so be a real friend or genuine connection / networker and make you sure pay it forward.
Whatever you do, be real, show professional humility and most of all remember to hunt wisely!