How to Ask for Help in Your Job Search

Updated: Oct 19

When you are are searching for a job, your immediate (or indirect network) is very important to help you with leads and advise. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused record unemployment and forced thousands of companies to close down. While there is a severe impact on many job seekers, you may still ask yourself, Is it right to as people for help?. Well the answer is, Yes. The approach would be more specific and cautious. There are several job posts that are fake and employment agencies and people wanting to make quick money. Make sure you tap the right resources and contact the people you know. You will find that some people are more eager than ever to lend a helping hand, in the form of introductions.

Follow these guidelines that will help you in your job search.

1. Ask for Something Specific

Do not expect your resource to find out what you need and how to help. But rather be clear in what you need. For example, you may want to find out which companies in your industry are hiring or downsizing and how to certain companies look after their employees or get connected to the hiring manager of company A and need a formal introduction or recommendation. Once they have an idea of the kind of help you are looking for, they might be able to offer more suggestions and also be free with advise.

“Knowing who you are and the problems you can solve or the value you can bring to a company” is key.


2. Be Genuine and Empathetic

Remember, a lot of people and businesses are struggling. You do not know if someone has been laid off, or had a pay cut or not found a job for several months. They may be even be dealing with their own illness or the illness or loss of a loved one.

So “be personal, sincere, authentic, and inquire about how they are doing too. Start every email with earnest, heartfelt questions about them and their loved ones and try to make your messages personalized and conversational as possible, taking into account how much you know them.

3. Be Patient

This is not the time to pressure or hound people over slower responses. If you have not heard back after a week, it is OK to gently and politely follow up, but if you do not get a response after that, move on, and do not take it personally. Prepare yourself for the fact that you may need to reach out to more people than usual to find someone who can help.


4. Network

I have often found that networking is the best source to develop and maintain connections. Attend trade fairs and events and exhibitions. Be genuine establishing and maintaining contacts. Be true to the reason you are attending these events (to showcase your experience, education and skills) to prospective employers. Be clear to sell your expertise on being the most preferred candidate to hire. Do not forget to show genuine interest in companies and what they do. This will also help you understand which companies are best to work for.

Remember you are doing all this while your job application is with companies you have applied or recruiters you have contacted already.


All the very best in your job search.


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