We’ve all found ourselves in situations where we are either in search of a new position for ourselves or we get those phone calls and emails from former colleagues, friends and family members asking for help finding a job.
When you find yourself looking for a job, there are some things that you must do or should do prior to making that call seeking personal help from someone to potentially influence the process. First: go check the website for the company for which you want some help and look for open positions that match your skills. When you find the right position, you should apply to that position and take note of a requisition or a job number during that application process. You will see it somewhere on the screen when you are applying or in the confirming email you receive back acknowledging your application to that position.
In addition, you should take the time to look for connections at companies with whom you want introductions or influence through LinkedIn. You can then target those specific people that may be connected or are connected to people from the company, with which you are applying.
When you make the call to someone you want to help influence the selection process for you, you have something actionable for them. Often times, people want to call someone and simply send a resume and hope that they were able to plug them into an open job somehow. That definitely works sometimes. There are a lot of factors that can drive the success of that scenario: How large is the company? How much influence does the person you know have within that organization? However, more often than not, your best chance of getting help from someone is giving them a start by finding an open position and applying to that position within their company.
When you do make that call or that email reach out to someone that you’re hoping will help, you must ascertain or assess their willingness as well as their ability to help you in the process. Some people simply don’t have it within their nature or personality to extend any political capital to assist someone in a job search. It doesn’t mean they don’t value you or didn’t like working with you; and maybe they would even like to work with you again. It’s just that they don’t have it with in their nature to extend themselves out to try to help.
Sometimes the help you receive will come from the least expected people. And of course, the opposite of that is true as well. There are people that just have it within their nature to take these calls and actually try to recommend or help a person in their job search.
I liken looking for a job to fishing. You have to always be optimistic and believe that your next cast is going to catch a fish. And if you don’t like the place you’re fishing or the bait you’re casting, you should consider changing one or both.