Six “easy” yes-I-can-help requests

OK, we all know that most jobs are filled not through ads, agencies, or on-line search boards, but through networks. The Rapport chapter in The Power of Everyday Networking explains how to “ask for help” in a way that ensures that the person you ask can and will help you. (Also check out daily tips for the week of June 3). The key is learning to make a request that does not put a burden on someone in your network or on a person they know.

There are endless requests that are easy to say “Yes, I can help you” to. Here are six:   

  1. Ask people to share their knowledge of what’s current in your profession or industry;
  2. Ask someone to provide additional insight or new information on an organization’s goals, challenges, and culture;
  3. Ask them to talk about their personal or professional experiences and strategies in conducting a search;
  4. Ask them to give feedback on your resume, your elevator pitch, your signature statement..
  5. Ask someone to role-play an interview, or help you build a rapport building telephone or voice mail script.
  6. Ask them to be a sounding board when you are frustrated with the way your search is going.  And since yes, you will work again; do seek out help to review a job offer.

Notice that I identified a number of “networking building” ways a job seeker can network before ever mentioning asking for a job lead referral or an introduction.  Think before you ask for that intro; which of the ways identified above might be the way to go first and help build a stronger, more lasting career connection?

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