With a growing number of people looking for work due to COVID layoffs or other business implications and limited social gatherings, now is a good time to connect with family and friends about your interests and support needs in your job search. Most will be happy to help but may not always know where to start. Here are some tips to help spread the word in your job search.
1) Reflect on and Share your Skillset - When telling people that you’ve been laid off, take this time to share a clear idea of what your job was and the skills that you used. This will help these individuals make more suitable work recommendations for you. You may hear of some jobs you’d never thought of that use your skillset, and you may even hear about your dream job too!
2) Be Detailed, Precise and Polite - Whether you reach out to hundreds or just several of your contacts, take time to prepare your messaging. Be clear and concise. Don’t try to hide the intention of your message or you may not get what you’re looking for. Remember that those who offer their advice or introduce you to someone that they know who may be able to help, regardless of if they were helpful or not, it’s good practice to send them an expression of thanks.
3) Get Creative and Let your New Contact Take the Lead - If you’re trying to make an introduction to someone that you’ve never met before, get creative. You want them to open your email but also be intrigued at why they should respond. You could start by telling them how you found them, what your skills are, and asking for a quick time to connect by phone or through a virtual platform (such as Teams, Google Duo, or Zoom). Respect that some people may wish to exchange a few emails or social media messages before committing to setting up these meetings.
Just like any other piece of job searching, your ability to network could take some trial and error. You may send out one mass message and not receive any responses. Don’t take it personally. Instead, try to think of this as a learning opportunity to try a new approach like calling people or sending personalized messages to a few key people every few days. You may need to have some patience that some people will have the capacity to respond immediately and others may need a bit of time to finalize the details of what they want to share back.