Job Seekers: A Right Way to Ask For Help

There are loads of wrong ways people have asked for help in their job search.

From “Can you send my resume to all the recruiters you know?” to the outright “Get me a job!” demand, when you’re desperately looking, you don’t want to wind up further from your goal because you’re not respecting the other person’s time (or interest).

So while I’m not saying the approach below is one-size-fits-all, it is one that impressed me enough to make me want to help.

I received this message on LinkedIn*:

Hi Everyone,

Thought I would send a brief message via LinkedIn to my favorite Twitter network. I just wanted to let you know that the company I have worked with decided to move to another state quite suddenly. To make a long story short, my state’s team was laid off and so I am on the look for a new opportunity, preferably in the same area. I am also open to working remotely, even if it’s part time. If it’s the right company I would also consider relocating. I just wanted to ask if you could keep a look out for any opportunities/positions that involve social media, marketing, entry level sales and/or brand management. I know that’s a ton of stuff but just thought I would get the ball rolling since I didn’t expect to be out of work.

Please don’t feel pressured at all.  I just wanted to connect and start exploring my options. You are all a great part of my day and I always appreciate the daily motivation!

If you want to email me or need anything like a resume just let me know. Thanks and see you on Twitter.

What’s so great about this message:

  • The job seeker sent this message to a group of us, but it was very easy to see it was a SMALL group, which still kept it personal.
  • All of us in this group are persons she’s interacted with before and on a consistent basis, not just suddenly after a long absence.
  • As a recipient in this group message, I appreciated that I knew everyone else (this isn’t a requirement, but a very nice-to-have).
  • The job seeker never once asks us to get her a job. Instead, she tells us what she’s looking for and where, and leaves the choice entirely up to us.
  • The message itself is engaging and friendly, and talks to us like we’re all people. You’d be surprised at how many such messages don’t.

Your takeaway:

Whether you send your job search message to a small group or one person at a time, keeping it light, keeping it relevant, and establishing some kind of common ground beforehand can positively influence someone toward helping you.

How do you recommend job seekers get the word out?

*Used with permission from the job seeker and scrubbed of identifying details.

Pic found here.

3 Things NOT to Assume After Getting Fired

bummed out jobseeker

When you’re unceremoniously booted out of a job, you can feel anything from anger and hurt to bewilderment and depression. This is normal; after all, you just went from a known thing to a lot of unknowns.

But while you’re working through your feelings and figuring out your next steps, try to avoid some common pitfalls so you can get on with making your transition easier.

Three Things NOT to Assume After Getting Fired

(Without more than circumstantial evidence, that is.)

1) That your old boss is out to get you.

Has your ex-boss remained cordial? Accepted or offered lunch invitations or other get-togethers? Introduced you to key people in your industry?

If so, your boss is willing to help you, not out to get you. Think of it this way: Just because your previous job didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean your boss doesn’t recognize your valuable, viable skills. You just need to find the right fit for them. And if your boss is willing to actively advocate for you, that’s well-nigh priceless stuff right there.

You do still have to do most of the work yourself. Instead of daydreaming about being sabotaged, follow up on those key people. Work on your resume and online presence. Keep making connections. And be sure to thank that old boss of yours when something they started for you works out.

2) That it was the company’s fault.

It’s not the most pleasant of thoughts that you could have done yourself out of a job. And it can be very true that you were in a toxic environment with a toxic manager (if so, avail yourself of the AskaManager blog for help and support before, during, and after).

But if there’s a pattern in your job history of being let go instead of walking out on your own two feet, it’s worth it to take a closer look at the common denominator: You.

The hard part about this is we all have our own perceptions of ourselves, and when they don’t mesh with how others perceive us, we have a tendency to think the problem is on their side. And yes, sometimes it is.

When it comes to holding down a job, however, you may not literally be able to afford this kind of attitude. It doesn’t mean you aren’t the fabulous person you are. You just need to make sure some parts shine through more than others.

What can you do about it? Everything! Remember, you still have all the skills, knowledge, and experience you had when you had that job. Those things don’t go away.

What you need to do now is think honestly about your past work history. Then think about the skills employers love for you to have, such as accountability: Did you promise a lot of cool things but failed to deliver? Did you come up with great ideas but always left the actual execution for “somebody” to finish?

I’d even recommend looking at past reviews. If you thought you were doing well, but your performance reviews said you weren’t, did you try to improve or did you brush it off?

Armed with these new tools, you can work on your most important asset: Yourself.

The last thing you shouldn’t assume is…

3) That you’re alone.

You aren’t. Friends, family, former co-workers, people at networking events, that guy walking down the block, that person headed off to lunch–it’s a fair chance that everyone has been out of a job at some point. They know what it feels like. So with that in mind, approach people with your head up and don’t be afraid to ask for help–even if you aren’t always sure of the reception.

Just don’t: Ask them to “get” you a job. That’s a no-no!

What have you done to get back on your feet after being let go?