Asking family and friends for job search help is a great way to hear about job opportunities and make connections with hiring companies. Your friends and family care about you, and most of them will gladly help you in any way they can.
But some ways of reaching out to friends and family lead to better results than others. Get tips on how to network with people you know, as well as examples of letters requesting job search help.
Tips for Asking Friends and Family for Job Search Help
One of the best ways to reach out to family and friends is through an email or letter, but it's fine to make a phone call if you'd prefer. When you're sending a written request, try these strategies to make sure your note is effective:
- Be specific. It's easier for people to help you if you tell them exactly what kind of job search help you want. Are you hoping for job leads? Informational interviews? New contacts? Let them know what you want so that they can deliver.
- Keep it short. Your letter should not be too long. Everyone's busy, and a brief note is more likely to be read than a longer one. You might even use bullet points or a list to make it easier to read.
- Attach your resume. Consider attaching your resume to your letter or email to provide more information to your friends and family. This will also allow you to keep your letter shorter.
- Send some personalized letters. If you have particular friends or family who you would like to ask a specific favor—perhaps they work at a company you want to work for, or they have a contact you would like to meet—send them individualized letters. This will increase your chances that those people will respond to you.
- Be patient. It’s hard to be patient when you're job searching, but it’s important. Wait a couple of weeks or even a month before sending one short follow-up email. In this email, say you are continuing to job search, and would still appreciate the assistance. Avoid sounding frustrated or upset.
- Be thankful. Individually thank every person who offers you help with your job search. Even if their advice was not particularly helpful, you would want to express your gratitude. Who knows when you will need their job advice again? It is important to remain kind and considerate. Also, remember to offer your help when someone you know needs a new job.
What to Include in Your Letter or Email
You will want to include a brief, friendly introduction to your family and friends.
After your introduction, explain that you are looking for a new job. Provide a very brief explanation of your background (a description of your last 1 – 3 jobs), your ideal job, and a list of 3 – 5 companies you would love to work for.
You can include this information in paragraph form or in a list.
Your Request for Assistance
After this, explain what specifically you are looking for from your family and friends, whether it is alerts on job openings, an informational interview, or something else.
Conclude with a thank you to express your gratitude and appreciation.
Signature With Contact Information
In your signature, include contact information; even if they are friend and family who know your contact information, it is still useful to include this.
Sample Letters Asking for Job Search Help
Here are example of letters and email messages requesting assistance with a job search.
Sample Letter Asking Friends and Family for Job Search Help
Dear friends and family,
I hope all is well! As many of you know, I have been working as a marketing assistant at XYZ Company in New York for the past four years.
I am currently looking to relocate to Washington, D.C., and am searching for a new mid-level marketing job in the city.
If you hear of any open positions in marketing (particularly within the nonprofit sector) or can think of any contacts you might be able to put me in touch with, I'd greatly appreciate hearing from you.
I've attached my resume; I'd appreciate any help you can offer.
Thank you all so much! I look forward to catching up with each of you soon.
Sample Follow-up Letter Asking Friends and Family for Job Search Help
Dear friends and family,
I hope all is well! Thank you so much for all the leads and advice you have sent me so far as I look for a new marketing job in Washington, D.C. (specifically within the non-profit sector).
I just wanted to let you all know I am still looking for a job opportunity, so if you hear of any open positions, or can think of any contacts you might be able to put me in touch with, I'd greatly appreciate hearing about them.
I've attached my resume once more; I'd appreciate it if you could show it to any contacts you have in the industry.
Thank you again!
Sample Personalized Letter Asking for Job Search Help
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
I hope you are doing well! It was so nice to see you and Uncle Jim at the Christmas party last month.
As I believe my mom told you, after three years working for XYZ Marketing Company in New York, I am moving to Washington, D.C. I am currently looking for a mid-level job in marketing, specifically within the non-profit sector.
I remember you telling me that you are former colleagues of James McMartin of ABC Advertising Agency. Do you think you would be able to put us in touch? I would love to ask him for an informational interview. He is so experienced, and I’d love to hear his advice about the marketing industry in D.C.
Thank you so much in advance. Talk to you soon!
Be Brief and Clear: Your message should have a specific request (e.g., "I'm looking for leads on jobs at tech companies in the tri-state area.") and not a vague plea for job search help. Keep it short.
Give Context: Your friends and family may care about you, but that doesn't always mean they know (or understand) the nitty-gritty details of your work life. Give them background on your skills and work history as well as details on the type of job you want.
Be Polite: You're asking for a favor, so be courteous. And, while it's OK to follow up, be patient, and don't send endless letters.