Posts Tagged 'Contacts'

With a Little Help From Your Friends

A study at the University of Southern California found that job seekers with many friends and relatives are more likely to find work than those with fewer contacts. Makes sense, but what if you have a small family and few friends? Expand your network. Increasing the number of contacts you have and using them properly will speed the process of finding a job. Here are some ways to improve your job search with help from your friends…as well as family, distant cousins and complete strangers. Check the following suggestions.

Make a list of possible contacts. If you don’t have a written contact list, start one now. Begin by writing down the name, address, and phone number of everyone you can think of who might help in your job search. Include everyone who comes to mind. You can trim the list later. If you have trouble thinking of names, ask a friend or two to help brainstorm with you. Your first draft should include family, friends, and business acquaintances. Add your doctor, dentist, lawyer. As you think of possible contacts don’t question whether or not a name should be added to the list, just add it. Check your mother’s Christmas card list for family friends who probably know you better than you know them. You will be surprised with the number of names that will come to you.

Set the list aside overnight, then delete those who will be of little or no help. If you are unsure, leave them on the list. Organize the remaining names in a format that makes it easy to add, delete and change the information as well as insert new information when it becomes available.

Use the resulting list daily. Once you have identified potential contacts and documented the basic information about them, use the information to help find a job. Go through the list each day and select people to call, write or visit. If you are unsure of what to say, make notes. The purpose for the contact is to get leads. Don’t ask for a job. Ask for information that may move you toward an application and interview.

Along with the information you’ve collected about each contact, make notes when you communicate with someone on the list and show the results, if any. Did the person give you another name? If so, add it to your list. Did you get any other suggestions? Record them all, whether they seem useful or not. If you need to make a follow-up call, mark it on your calendar. Every time you contact someone on your list, write down the date, and the how you made the contact–phone, person, letter, e-mail, or whatever. Then add what occurred during the contact. Review your notes each evening and make a to-do list for the next day.

Expand your contact list. Everywhere you go, whether it is social, recreational, or business, be alert for names to add to your list. If you meet someone at a party who might help in your job search, make a note and contact them later. Don’t discuss unemployment at a party. Enjoy the social and recreational times with friends and their friends. Be friendly. Ask questions. Listen and learn. Learn names and occupations. Everyone there is a potential contact. You may get so much information you will need to write it down before you forget. Do so unobtrusively.

Another way to expand your contact list is to get involved in associations related to your career. If you are not a member of such an organization, join one. If you are a member, become more active. Go to meetings. Work on committees. Get to know people. In these encounters, it is appropriate to talk about work. Let people in the group know you’re available. Get names. Find out who is hiring. Make notes. Hand out business cards. Be open about your situation with business associates while maintaining a confident attitude. Be supportive of others and accept support when it is offered.

Speed your job search by expanding your contact list. Observe these guidelines and keep good records. Follow up on all leads and you, too, can find the right job, with a little help from your friends.

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Sidney W. Frost, B.A., M.S.

The author's job-search advice has appeared in more than forty newspapers and other publications around the country. He has worked as a corporate recruiter in information technology and, as an IT supervisor has reviewed many applications and held many interviews over the years in both the private and public sector. His knowledge of the emotional impact of a job loss comes from his own experience as well as training received to help people who have lost jobs and faced other losses.

Mr. Frost is also the author of the Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide which is available in paperback and Kindle editions as well as two inspirational novels. See http://sidneywfrost.com/ for information. His other blog, The Christian Bookmobile/ talks about reading and writing.

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