As I was entering college, I kept hearing how important it was to make friends and connections, join this group or that group, but I never realized the importance of this until I ventured out on my first job hunt. As the end of college approached, like my peers, I was nervous and began to panic. I was in a sorority, so I made sure to reach out to the alumni in my network and let them know I was relocating and my field of interest. My university also approached me about joining an alumni association, so I did that too. Next thing you know, my network grew. I had friends from college connected to me via Facebook, I had my sorority alumni association sending my email blasts, and I had my college alumni association keeping me updated on job openings in and around my area. Suddenly I felt more confident because I was using my network and resources.
After I landed myself a job, friends began to approach me about helping them find a job. At first I was rather hesitant because, what if I found them a job and they messed up? How would that make me look? Eventually I got comfortable with the idea because, after all, I used my network and resources too.
Here are some things you can do if you are approached by a friend to help them with their job search.
- Ask your friend if they were a part of any clubs or organizations that might have an alumni group. If they were, encourage them to get in touch with someone in the organization.
- Encourage them to join their university or college alumni association. (This is a great networking tool, especially when you are in a career)
- Ask them what type of job they are looking for. Is it in a certain field? If they could have the perfect job, what would it be?
- Look inside your own network, ask other friends if their company is hiring and pass that information along.
- Help them scour job boards like Craigslist, Monster, Sologig, or Careerbuilder. If they are looking for a more technical field, try Dice as well. Make sure you know what they are looking for so you can pass the appropriate jobs their way.
- Encourage them to post their resumes on job boards as well.
- Utilize Linkedin. Write them a good recommendation if you have worked with them in some capacity.
The job market is tough, but it is important to remember, if you’ve been doing it right, you have a network of people around you that you can rely on.