When we network, we often think first of our professional network – coworkers, employers, etc. We sometimes forget that our family and friends also have professional connections that could be extremely useful.
Some people feel uncomfortable asking for help from family and friends. However, keep in mind that these are the people most interested in your success, so it makes sense to reach out to them.
Today you are going to write and send an email to family and friends letting them know about your job search. Here are some tips on how to reach out to family and friends in a direct but friendly way.
How to Ask Family and Friends for Job Search Help
Make a list. Make a list of family members and friends you want to reach out to about your job search. While you should feel comfortable reaching out to your contacts, be sure you are only contacting people you actually know – contacts of friends and family are not necessarily your contacts.
Consider your method of contact. An email is typically the best way to reach out to a large number of people. However, if there are any family members or acquaintances with whom you are less familiar, consider carefully whether or not they would prefer an email or another form of contact. For example, you might want to ask a family member with whom you are close whether or not your aunt would prefer an email, a phone call or a written letter.
Utilize Family Gatherings. If you have a gathering with friends or family coming up, you can use this time to mention your job search. However, be sure not to be too negative about your job search – you do not want to make others uncomfortable. Also be sure not to talk solely about your job search – you do not want to dominate the conversation. If someone at the gathering gives you job advice or a tip, follow up with an email or phone call.
Be Direct and Concise. Again, an email is probably the best way to reach out to friends and family. Be direct in your email – while you should start out with a friendly greeting, quickly mention your job search. If your email is too long and drawn out, people might not read it. Here is a sample letter to friends and family.
Provide Background Information. Include a few key pieces of information about your professional background, such as your last job title and company. You can either attach your resume, or simply provide a concise, bulleted list or small paragraph detailing this information.
Explain What You Are Looking For. You should also provide some information as to what type of job you are looking for, so your family and friends can easily recognize whether they can help you. Provide a paragraph or bulleted list detailing your ideal position title, as well as some of your ideal companies (mention some of the organizations you put on your employer target list).
Follow Up. If, after a month or so, you are still looking for a job, feel free to send a follow-up email explaining that you are still looking for a position, and would still appreciate any advice or leads. Include the same information on your background and ideal jobs that you mentioned in the first email.
Say Thank You. Be sure to thank everyone who helps you with your job search. Send individual thank yous to those who respond to your email with any information. Once you get a new job, you should also send a thank-you email to everyone you initially contacted (whether or not they helped you), letting them know about the new position and thanking them for their help.
Reciprocate. Be sure to return the favor if any friends or family need help in the future with their own job search. The best way to get help is to give it. This will also help you maintain relationships with your friends and family members, should you ever need help again in the future.