How to Help a Friend Find a New Job
Do you have a friend or family member who is looking for a new job? What’s the best way to help them get hired? What can you do for them? Whether the person is looking for a better opportunity or has lost their job, there are many different ways you can assist them with their job search.
How to Help a Friend or Family Member Get Hired
Most of these ideas are little things that won’t take you much time, but will help your friend get on track for the next stage of their career. Here are some options for what to do when you want to make someone’s job search a bit easier.
Offer Job Search Help
Be constructive, not critical. If the person was fired, don’t give them a hard time about it—even if it was their fault. Be sympathetic and understanding because it can happen to anyone. If their resume is awful, you don’t need to say that. Instead, suggest a few changes that would make it more presentable.
Offer a referral. If there are relevant openings at your organization, see if you can put in a referral for your friend. Employers are thrilled to hear about qualified candidates, and you might even get a referral bonus.
Send job leads. If a job that’s a good fit comes across your computer screen or social sites, send it to your friend. Check job listing sites once in a while to see if you can find a job that’s a good possibility. It can be hard to stay on top of new listings, and your job lead might be the one that ends up getting the person a new job.
Offer to proofread resumes and cover letters. One of the hardest things to do when you’re writing and editing is to catch your own mistakes. Another pair of eyes is always helpful. Offer to proof and review your friend’s resume and letters, so their application materials are perfect.
Help them spiff up their LinkedIn profile. If your friend’s LinkedIn profile hasn’t been updated in recent memory, look it over and suggest any improvements you can think of. Make sure it contains current employment and educational information, skills, and accomplishments. Here are nine simple steps for making a LinkedIn profile better.
Set up a job shadow. Is your friend interested in what you do for a living? Check with your boss to see if you can set up a job shadow, where the person spends a few hours or a day with you at work. This is also a perfect opportunity to make some introductions if any of your colleagues are in a position to assist.
Arrange an informational interview. An informational interview is an informal meeting designed to gather information about a job or company. Set up informational interviews if you have connections to people in your friend’s career field or industry. Most people are glad to share information on what they do, and your connections may be able to generate some referrals or job leads.
Go to a career networking event with your friend. If you’re not the most outgoing person in the room, it can be scary to go to professional networking events. It’s much easier when you have a companion. You might make some connections to help your career, as well. If it’s hard for you too, here are some tips that will help.
Write a LinkedIn recommendation. Hiring managers do read LinkedIn recommendations. If you’re in a position to attest to the person’s professional qualifications, putting it in writing on LinkedIn will boost their visibility. It will also give them a reference in advance.
Offer to be a reference. You can use the recommendation you wrote on LinkedIn as a starting point for a professional reference. If you don’t have a business connection with your friend, offer to be a personal reference. That’s especially valuable if the person was fired or otherwise lost their job.
Make connections. Who you know can be critical to a successful job hunt, and connecting people is simple and easy to do. Offer to introduce your friend to anyone you think might be able to assist. Do it in-person, by email, on LinkedIn, and on social media. All you need to do is send a short note with an introduction and a reason why you’re making the connection.
Refer them to their university career office. Many college career offices provide services to alumni. Suggest that your friend contact his or her career services or alumni office to see how they can help. The staff may be able to provide career counseling, resume reviews, letter writing help, and other job search assistance.
Hook them into their networks. College alumni network and professional networking groups are excellent resources for networking. You have something in common with the people you’re meeting and talking to online. Networking contacts are a reliable source for job leads and career advice, and networking is how many people get hired.
When Finances Are an Issue
When someone loses his or her job, it can be very stressful. When you’re worried about severance pay, if you get it, or unemployment, running out, and how you’re going to pay the bills, it can be hard to focus on a job search.
There are some extra things you can do to make life a little easier for someone who is out of work, worried about money, and in the middle of a job hunt. Here are a few of them:
- Volunteer to babysit for job interviews if child care is an issue.
- Do the same with rides to interviews if arranging transportation is challenging.
- A gift card for your local grocery store or department store is always useful.
- Send some meals. Order from a food delivery service, so they don’t have to think about a dinner or two.
- Share your stuff. Is your friend short on professional interview clothes? If you’re the same size, offer an outfit. If you have a nice portfolio, you could let them use that, as well.
On the Lighter Side
Everyone needs a break, especially when it feels like your whole life is revolving around finding a new position. Here are some ways to take your friend’s mind off their job search and provide some stress relief.
- Go out for drinks and pick up the tab.
- Gift a pass for yoga, gym, exercise, painting, or any other class you think they might enjoy doing.
- Take them out to a ball game, concert or another special event.
- Buy a meal (or two). Take your friend to lunch or dinner, or for coffee, on a regular basis.
- Flowers and chocolate make almost everyone feel better. They really do.
Stay Connected and Follow-Up
Most importantly, be a friend and lend an ear. Sometimes, listening is the best way you can help someone work through considering career options, looking for job leads, interviewing, and evaluating job offers. Let them vent and remind them that listening and being a friend is what you’re here for.
Check in with him or her to see how they are doing. Offering help is wonderful, but following up and checking on their progress will be even more appreciated. Many people offer once and then forget. Be the person who stays in touch.
How Helping Benefits You
There’s an added benefit for you in all of this. Even though your intention is to help, and it’s a good one, you’re also going to get by giving. Your friends are going to remember that you referred them to a job, offered to proofread, bought them a beer or a glass of wine, or whatever else you did to be supportive.
They’ll remember the next time a promising job lead that might be perfect for you comes along. The time you spend helping will be well worth the effort, and you’ll feel good that you did your best to assist your friend.