Networking: How to Help

Networking: How to Help

A former colleague and friend reaches out to tell you they’re in the market for a new job. Part of networking is making connections to help your career, and the other part is helping others with their careers. If you’re hesitating, remember, someone you assisted will remember and honour that effort when it comes time to help you.

Wondering what you can do that’s useful? Here’s a list of ten ways to help your network contacts when they’re looking for a new job.

  1. Networking: How to HelpEdit. Offer to proofread their cover letter, resume, or thank-you notes. Nerves and a tight schedule can open the door to errors.
  2. Write. Have a great resume? Use it as a template and plug your contact’s information into it, customizing it for their skills, experience, and industry.
  3. Search. Search your contact online, to see what comes up in their social media. Give them a quick call if something looks wrong, incomplete, or derogatory.
  4. Send. Send them job listings at your organization, or in your industry. Be aware that they’ll be linked to your name as well, so try and match the positions you send to the skills of your contact.
  5. Connect. Make a connection with your favourite recruiter or other hiring influencers. Invite them to a networking event and introduce them.
  6. Practice. Offer to help them practice introductions, elevator speeches, or even role-play interviews. Practice helps you catch mistakes, wears off the anxiety, and gives the candidate confidence. Practicing behavioural interview questions can be especially helpful.
  7. Refer. Offer to be a reference if you can honestly speak to the great job they did when you worked together, or if you can be a good personal reference. Consider referring them to a Resume Writer or Career Coach if you think those services would be helpful.
  8. Network. Use your own network to see if anyone knows of a job opening that would be a good fit for your contact.
  9. Coffee. It sounds simplistic, but taking a friend out for coffee (or tea, or a beer) during stressful times can be a life saver. Just letting them vent is helpful.
  10. Support. Ask what you can do to help if none of these ideas seems to fit your situation or your contact. It may be a simple, “Wish me luck”, or it might be something more concrete. Just asking is a start!

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