Tips for Asking Friends and Family for Job Search Help
Letter Examples and Advice for Asking for Job Search Help
Asking family and friends for job search help is a great way to hear about job opportunities. Your friends and family care about you, and most of them will gladly help you in any way they can.
However, there are ways to reach out to friends and family that are more helpful than others. Read below for tips on how to network with family and friends, as well as examples of letters requesting job search help.
Tips for Asking Friends and Family for Job Search Help
The best way to reach out to family and friends is through an email or letter. Read below for advice on how to write the most effective letter.
Be specific. Your friends and family will be able to help you better if you tell them what you are looking for. Are you hoping for job leads? Informational interviews? New contacts? Let them know what you want, so they can help you.
Keep it short. Your letter should not be too long; your friends and family are busy, and will be more likely to read a shorter letter or email. You might even use bullet points or a list to make it easier to read.
Attach your resume. You might attach a 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 really 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, simply say you are still job searching, and would still appreciate 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 will want to express your gratitude. Who knows when you will need job advice again, so 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.
After this, explain what specifically you are looking for from your family and friends, whether it is alerts on job openings, informational interviews, or something else.
Conclude with a thank you to express your gratitude.
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 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!
More Letters Asking for Job Search Help
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Read More:Sample Networking Letters | Letter Examples A - Z
As a career coach, I can tell you that there are plenty of things that make cover letters stand out in a bad way . But how do you move past mediocre and get it to catch the employer's eye in a good way?
That’s the burning question, when one sheet of paper stands in the way of your potential employer seeing your masterpiece of a resume . You’ve worked hard on editing and polishing it, after all, and even harder on earning the experience and accolades it boasts.
So, to avoid your resume landing in the circular file and to achieve your goal of getting an interview, follow these five guidelines—and the easiest-to-remember acronym ever: “C-O-V-E-R.”
Call out leadership positions, relevant awards, and advanced skill sets right at the beginning. This is the easiest way to catch someone’s eye as soon as he or she starts reading. “I am writing because I am interested in the Communications Manager position” doesn't say a lot, but “I believe that my experience securing international media coverage for high-profile tech clients make me the perfect match for the Communications Manager position” does.
Not sure which facets of your experience to include? Start with the points listed specifically in the job description. By proving you meet an employer’s top requirements, you’ll keep her attention to read on.
Offer stats to illustrate your impact on companies or associations you’ve worked for in the past. Employers love to see numbers—it shows them that you speak their language and that you understand what they’re looking for in an employee: results.
Show them that you’ve made your mark in your past positions and didn’t just follow your predecessor’s checklist, whether it was at an internship, your last job, a college club, or a team-building event you organized to boost company morale. Earned your division more money than the person before you? Share that monetary difference. Reeled in more vendors than your peers did to participate in a fundraiser? Show that outstanding work with something no one can argue with—math.
Verify the appropriate contact name to use in the greeting of the cover letter (you would be shocked at how many people don’t do this). If you can’t find it online, do some digging. Call the company and ask who the HR representative or the hiring manager is for the position. You should never have a general greeting like “To whom it may concern” or “Dear [Insert Company Name].” You want it to be as personalized as possible so that the employer sees that you’re resourceful and that you’re OK with doing your homework.
Exemplify your strengths . Avoid , at all costs , describing yourself as a “team player” or a “people-person.” It’s like a graphic designer using the font Comic Sans—it’s overused, oversimplified, and it underplays your unique attributes.
Instead, show off your skills with descriptive statements like “I’m an expert communicator with experience bringing together diverse departments to develop a cohesive program.” It’s longer—but it’s also stronger.
Then follow that point with an instance in which you displayed this skill, saying something like, “For example, when tasked with leading a marketing campaign for the rebranding of my company, I coordinated meetings with all divisions of the marketing department to ensure the promotion’s consistency in all channels of communication, including business-to-business messaging and media materials.”
Remember, too, that your cover letter itself should serve as an example of your skills. Meaning, if you’re an aspiring journalist, you’d better check that you used AP style correctly throughout your cover letter. If you’re applying for a graphic design position, then your cover letter should be a visual masterpiece .
Refrain from regurgitating all of the same information already detailed in your resume. Your cover letter should complement your resume, in that it delves into the high points and provides a fuller picture of who you are after the employer reads both.
In addition, while your resume language is pretty cut-and-dry, your cover letter should have a personal touch—almost like you’d write a letter to a friend or family member —expressing a tone and using language that is true to you. Also be sure to make your letter precise and punchy. You never, never need to go over one page—the goal here is to draw someone in and showcase your qualifications using as few words as possible.
Now, you’ve got a checklist that’s easy to remember and that ensures your cover letter will showcase why you’re right for the job. So, your final checkpoint to get your cover letter ready to go? Make sure the one thing you’d want to say to your dream employer—before the elevator door closes on your conversation —is in your letter. Then, my friend, you’ve done it.