Now that you ask...
Turn ‘nosy’ questions about job search into valuable leads, referrals
Dealing with well-wishers is common during the job-search process. You know who they are — brothers, sisters, moms, dads, friends, neighbors, previous work associates and anyone else who means well. Or perhaps they are just nosy, or they think they are doing you a favor by reminding you that you haven’t yet landed a job.
“Did you get offered a job yet?” “Haven’t you gotten a job yet?” “Any luck finding a job?”
“Are you still looking for a job?” These intrusions into your personal and professional life come masked in many ways.
Or maybe these people are truly interested — and that’s when you can turn the tables to actually help in your quest for a job. Since they have been kind enough to bring up the subject, here’s how you can benefit:
Hand each inquirer a copy of your resume, and ask what you can add to improve your chances of landing a new job. These well-wishers may have a suggestion or two that can make a big difference. Also give them a couple of extra copies of your resume in case they run across a position you might be qualified to fill.
Ask if he or she knows of any open positions at their place of work, and see if they would be comfortable with you using their name when you contact their company for a job interview. Inside references can make a big difference — they can work for you or against you, depending on the other person’s reputation in the organization.
Ask if the person would mind role-playing with you: He or she will play the hiring manager, and you will be yourself on an interview. Do a good practice run while role-playing, and the chances of performing well during a live interview are greatly increased.
Ask, “If you were looking for a job today, how would you go about it?” You might get a lecture, but look beyond that to search for valuable tips you may have overlooked.
Recap any interview experiences you’ve had and ask what “next steps” you should take to improve your chances. Your friends and acquaintances will have a different perspective than you, and the conversation could be a useful one.
Make sure you don’t let your emotions override your opportunities. When a person asks about your job-search activities, there’s no need to feel discouraged. Tell him or her the truth. Listen for helpful tips on how you can advance your job search. Don’t forget, when you get back to that person and say the ideas helped, you’ll have an improved relationship for a lifetime.
Now, that’s valuable! Keep at it, and good luck.
— Gary Moore is president of Insight Edge. He has more than 30 years of business experience and specializes in the Personality Priority hiring process, sales and leadership training. Visit Moore’s website, www.insightedge.com, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.