How To Ask Your Network for Help With Your Job Search
"I am coming up to the final months of my degree, I know which sector and kind of role I want to pursue as my first graduate job, have some great internship experience, and am growing my network. I feel like I'm doing everything right, but can't quite bring myself to explicitly ask my contacts about what I want - a job after graduation. How can I be more direct about my plans and asking for what I want without seeming insincere in connecting with people?"
- Victoria, London
First, I want to congratulate you on your upcoming graduation and for being so proactive with your career! You’ve got a huge head start already by knowing what industry and role you want to pursue.
To take it one step further and get your network to "work" for you, I suggest the following:
Stay in touch often via email and in-person. For example, ask any relevant contacts to coffee so you can learn more about their career path. Then, send her a thank you email. Here’s a great example:
Thank you again for taking time out of your day to meet with me! It was so encouraging to hear about your career path and why you chose to become (insert job title).
I've actually continued to research the role and I'm now actively pursuing full-time opportunities. I'd really appreciate you keeping me in mind for any (insert job title) roles that come across your desk. I have also attached my resume in case you want to pass it along.
Lastly, I wanted to see if you had any other informational interview referrals? I'd love to connect with other (insert job title) and learn about their career paths, too. Thank you again for your time and I look forward to staying in touch!
LinkedIn profile link
The goal is to stay on her radar and gently see if she could refer you for a job. Since you're not directly asking for a job, your email will just appear to beproactive with your job search.
Another approach to getting your network to "work" for you includes reaching out when there is a specific job you want a referral for. For that, I suggest sending the following email example:
Thank you again for taking time out of your day to meet with me! It was so insightful to hear about your career path and why you chose to become (insert job title). I've continued to research the role and industry and came across an opening for a (insert job title) at your company.
Would you be comfortable sharing the hiring manager's contact information with me? As you know, it can be hard to stand out in a sea of online applications, so I'd love the opportunity to send my resume directly to her.
I have also attached my resume with a brief introduction included in case you're more comfortable sending my information directly to (insert hiring manager name).
I really appreciate your time and any assistance you can provide in my job search.
I look forward to staying in touch!
LinkedIn profile link
Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, I always recommend asking your network to help with your job search via email—or LinkedIn message—because it gives them the opportunity to give your request some thought without being put on the spot. It also gives you the time to put together an elegant response.
Lastly, I want to let you know that we’ve shared more email templates like the ones above in our “14 Most Effective Email Templates to Simplify Your Job Search” eBook—which is free when you sign up for our newsletter—so be sure to grab that, too!
I hope this helps and happy job hunting!