Has your job hunt ground to a halt? It might be time to change of strategy. Swallowing your pride and asking others for help is rarely easy, and even less so when you’re out of work and lacking confidence. When we enlist the help of others, however, we amplify our own efforts to the extent that the sky really is the limit (especially for those looking for a job in aviation ;) ). That said, it’s important to make it easy for others to help you. Here’s some ideas of what to ask for.
Asking for help
Advertise your abilities
It’s no co-incidence that LinkedIn has become so popular – the power of the six degrees is well documented. Let your friends and family, as well as professional contacts (ex-colleagues, for example) know you’re looking for work. In the age of social networking, this is as easy as putting up a Facebook status which indicates you are looking for work. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you could put a link up to that, too, so that your social contacts have a copy of your online CV on-hand. Make sure (as always) that you focus on what you have to offer an employer, rather than simply posting a desperate “Can’t take it anymore! Need a job!”-style plea for help.
Top tip: Change your Facebook status to something like this – “The job hunt begins! Here’s a link to my LinkedIn profile, just in case anyone knows anyone looking for qualified sales professionals :)”
Ask for help with your CV
The more pairs of eyes you have on CVs, covering letters and application forms, the less likely you are to make critical errors which could cost you a job opportunity. Meaning the more people you can get to take a look, the better. Help others to help you by making your CV as presentable as you possibly can first, and remember your manners – invite those who offer to help to a coffee (or equivalent) in return. Your friends will be flattered to be asked.
Top tip: Try the following line: “I know you’re great at landing jobs. Can I treat you to a coffee sometime and get you to look over my CV?”
Ask for help with interview practice
If you’re often invited back to the interview stage but rarely given a job, the problem could be that you’re giving off the wrong signals in an interview. Ask someone you know to give you a practice interview (you could even prepare a list of questions for them to ask you to make it easier for them) and give you some feedback. Make sure you ask the right person – someone who will give you honest criticism, but also help build up your confidence.
Top tip: Ask this: “I’m really worried about my interview next week, and you always come across as being so confident. Would you mind going through a few questions with me?”
Look for moral support
Being unemployed is not easy, and you can quickly become overwhelmed. Sharing your concerns can be half the battle. Ask friends and contacts for practical advice like ideas for how to structure your day, how to improve your skill set or how to get out of the house if you’re uncomfortable talking about your feelings.
Top tip: Try this for an opener: “I really feel as though my search for work is not moving forwards. Would you mind being a sounding board?”
Above all, remember that (however difficult it may be to swallow your pride) people really do love to help – as long as you make it relatively easy for them to do so. Make your requests specific, and never ask for anything you wouldn’t be happy for someone else to ask for from you, but do ask. We can’t all be good at everything, but we can address our shortcomings by knowing when and where to seek help.