Last March, we wrote about how much we loved J.T. O’Donnell’s “job-it-forward” idea. There are many ways each of us can help our friends find new opportunities, so we put together a short list of tips to help you get started. While it might be easier to do these things if you are currently working, a spirit of generosity also helps if you are looking for a job, so don’t be afraid to help others!
Make an introduction
- If you know a good person for your friend to connect with, take the extra step and introduce them. Here are three ways to introduce people via email.
Join your friend at a networking event
- It can be intimidating to go to a networking event, especially if you’re unemployed. Go with a friend to one of these events, help them make connections. You might benefit from the networking as well! Here are five ways to make the most of a networking event.
Recommend them on LinkedIn
- Making a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn can improve their chances of receiving an interview from their profile significantly. Consider highlighting their strengths and past work experience. Here’s how to write a LinkedIn recommendation in five minutes.
Survey your network for job opportunities
- Every so often, ask contacts in your network if they have any job openings available and send that information along to people you know who are searching. J.T. O’Donnell recommends reaching out to colleagues you haven’t spoken to in over a year and asking if they have opportunities you can share.
Help a friend identify specific types of jobs they are seeking
- Many job seekers want to be broad in their search, but by being specific it’s easier to identify organizations and opportunities that will be the right fit. Work with them on a few exercises including the NYU Wagner Career Tracks exercise or answering these questions.
Mentor a friend in your industry
- If an out-of-work friend is interested in your line of work, dedicate a few hours a week to showing them the ropes so they can begin to test the waters. Learn how to get started as a mentor.
Review a friend’s resume
- Having a second set of eyes on your resume is always helpful. Take a few minutes to review your friend’s to help them make sure it’s as good as it can be. Here’s what you should look for when reviewing resumes.
Offer to be a professional reference
- For many job seekers, asking old contacts to be a professional reference can be stressful and unnerving. If you’re in a position to speak to your friend’s work habits and history, offer yourself as a reference. Learn how to master the art of giving a job reference.
Practice interview questions
- Rehearsing interview questions on your own isn’t the same as having to respond to another person. Take a few minutes to run through commonly asked interview questions with a friend.
Help a friend craft a personal mission statement
- A personal mission statement not only summarizes what you stand for; it also helps you identify what you want potential employers to know about you. Here’s how to write a personal mission statement.
Set up an informational interview
- Sometimes, no amount of LinkedIn connecting, job post reading, or online researching can answer your tough questions about a particular job. If you have a co-worker or contact that has a job your friend is interested in, connect them for a brief meet. Here’s how to prepare for an informational interview.
Share a useful resource
- Is there an association your friend should join? A publication they should read? Or an interesting article they would enjoy? Keep an eye out for resources your friend could benefit from and send them along.
Listen before acting
- It’s always a good idea to be generous, and you might want to jump in and help a friend who just lost their job. However, no one likes to be pestered about their job search. Before doing anything, ask your friend how you can be helpful.