Now that you ask...

Turn ‘nosy’ ques­tions about job search into valu­able leads, re­fer­rals

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - CLASSIFIED - By Gary Moore In­sight Edge and Per­so­gen­ics Corp.

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 gary­moore@in­sight­edge.com.

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