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The Wrongs Ways to Ask For Job Hunting Help
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Moving up or salvaging in your career can't be done alone. You need to be able to network and network well.  Networking involves being able to master certain professional and social skills. There is actually a technique to it.

Imagine getting asked for help but the approach made it difficult for you to do so. There are many people out there who do and don't realize it. To not sabotage your own career advancement, you need to avoid being a part of that group of people.

Here are some tips to keep you from asking for help in ways that would actually harm your career:

1) "Hi, how are you? I am looking for a job..."

This is no kind of a proper introduction. Phrases like this turn on a big flashing light pointing out that you are an amateur, not only asking for help, but clearly in desperate need of it. When meeting a new professional contact, your approach needs to be casual. People will want to help others who they are comfortable around. Start by making conversation like you would when trying to make a new friend. Find out their interests and about who they are and work your way up from there. When you follow-up you will have already established the foundation for a bond. This will make it easier to solicit help in your job search.

2) Firing off mass emails.

People think that sending out a slew of emails to people asking for job searching help is the most efficient and successful way of getting responses. Wrong! Doing this will prove to have the exact opposite results. Precision is the key. Recipients of these emails will regard them as spam and simply ignore them. By not specifically address each email, people will not take your request seriously because they'll know they were just one of many recipients. Take the time to personalize each email and it will also help you narrow down to people who are more likely to help you.

3) Asking for a hand-off.

Requesting that someone pass along your resume is a big no-no. It's asking the other person to your networking for you. Asking for favors from people you are only acquainted with is a stretch and unlikely to get you any results. Instead, try to find out how companies handle their referrals. Employees whose referrals lead to a new hire often get compensated for it. This is a good way to reach out to people by mentioning the incentive. If don't seem interested, don't push it. You can always try asking someone else.