Monday, May 21, 2012

Start Spreading The News -- About Your Job Search

The opening line of Frank Sinatra's famous "New York, New York" contain valuable advice for all first time job seekers: "Start spreading the news."

One of the most common mistakes people make in the job search is not letting people know you are looking for work. This is an especially egregious error in today's society. With sites like Facebook and Twitter playing big roles in peoples' lives, it's imperative you let all of your followers know that you would appreciate any leads they have.

There are some job seekers who have the mistaken belief that asking for help from your contacts comes off as desperate. This is only true if you make it sound desperate. Here's an example of how not to let people know you need help:

"Ugh, this job search is terrible! It's so frustrating. Somebody help me find some work?!"
 This is a bad post for a number of reasons. First, it just sounds whiny. We all know the job search can be immensely frustrating but people generally won't want to help someone who sounds like they are just complaining. Another issues is that it sounds more like a demand than a polite request. If you write something like this as a Facebook status, chances are you won't even get a single "like," let alone a response.

Here's what you should write:

"Just wanted to let everyone know that I am currently looking for work. If anybody happens to have any leads in the nonprofit sector, could you please contact me? I appreciate any help I can get!"
Notice how this example politely states what you need without sounding desperate? It's also very specific, so you will be almost guaranteed to get responses that are relevant to the specific field in which you are looking.

The job search is a tough assignment for anybody, so don't make the mistake of going it alone. There's no shame in asking for help as long as you are polite about it.

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