Rules for Trying to Get a Job Through a Friend

We all know that networking is an effective way of finding a job.  Most employers are more comfortable hiring a new employee if they already have some connection to the organization.  However, getting a job through someone that you know can be tricky.  You need to advocate for yourself, but at the same time, you want to make sure that you represent your friend well  It may not be as easy as you think.  Here are some tips to help guide you when you trying to get a job through a friend:

Ask your friend how to approach it.  Every organization is different; what may be considered inappropriate at one organization may be completely acceptable at another.  If you’re lucky enough to have a friend on the inside, it can help a lot.  Ask your friend who you should talk to and how you should approach them.  You can even ask your friend what types of experiences and skills to focus on, and what to wear to the interview.  With your friend’s advice, you should be able to make a good impression.

Don’t ask for too much.  Make no mistake, your friend is doing you a huge favour by helping you get a job.  Many people will not put themselves on the line for somebody else, and having someone inside the organization speak on your behalf is priceless.  Try not to push the limits of your friend’s generosity.  Only ask if you are very interested in the position, and once they make the introduction, you take it from there.

Show gratitude.  Since your friend is going out of their way to help you, the least that you can do is show a little gratitude.  Take your friend out for dinner and make sure that you tell them how much you appreciate their help.  A little thank you can go a long way.

Don’t mention your friend’s name in the interview.  Yes, your friend is helping you to connect with the job.  However, you can’t expect your friend to do it all for you.  They may have helped you get the interview, but after that you have to make it on your own.  Refrain from dropping your friend’s name in the interview or when you are talking to the manager.  Let your skills and experience speak for itself.

Be extra professional.  When your friend is speaking to their employer on your behalf, you have to be on your best behaviour.  The way that you act reflects on your friend and can potentially impact their career.  Be professional and direct; if you decide that you are no longer interested in the job, politely let the manager know.  You don’t want to make your friend regret helping you.

It’s tough to find a job, but if you have a friend who can help guide you through the process, and possibly move your resume to the top of the pile, it can help a lot.  However, you want to make sure that you handle this situation in a way that is going to reflect well on you and keep your friendship healthy.  Behave professionally, try to stand out based on your own merit, and always be considerate of your friend, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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