Today I want to talk about something related, and again, an issue I see ALL THE TIME. That is, how do you introduce yourself and ask for help. I recently saw an email to an elist I’m on that was something like this (slightly edited, just taking a few words out):
Would you help me out joining my linkedin network? My current job ends a week from today. Can you recommend a reputable [city, state] Employment Agency, Virtual Co., etc?
That was it. How many requests do you get like this? Expect the number to go up this year, as more people who have been heads-down employees start to navigate the job search. Here was my response:
I know this is HIGHLY unsolicited advice, but I see this type of request coming through on this list and others, so let me suggest something to you (or whoever wants to listen) – if this offends you, sorry, but hopefully it helps as you network during your job search.
You are asking if we know any agencies in [city]. You can simply go to google or the yellow pages for that. I can list a few agencies, but they are virtually useless, especially when everyone and their dog is going to them right now for help.
Might I suggest you pose your question a little differently? I have no idea WHO you are and WHAT you do. Not to mention we don’t have a relationship, but beside that, I really need to know more about you before I refer you to a nameless agency, OR worse, to a network contact of mine.
I’m okay trusting members of this group, even with 9k+ members, and kind of doing an intro based on that even though we don’t have a relationship, but you have to give me something to go on. What about:
“My name is _______ and I’ve been on this list for x months/years. I have appreciated _____________.
My current job ends a week from today. I have known about this for the last month and have been getting my job search in order, and network as much as I can. I know that there are places I haven’t thought of, and am wondering if any of you have any recommendations for helpful recruiters, employment agencies, or people I should talk to?
I am in [city] and specialize in the _________ field. In my last job I (tell a story here that helps me wrap my brain around your value add).
I am looking for a role as a (job title). Ideally I would like to work for a company like (target company A, target company B, target company C).
Does anyone know of any network contacts I should talk to? Even if they aren’t in [city], I’d love to talk with someone at one of my target companies, their competitors, or someone in my industry.
I appreciate any help – you can contact me off-list for my resume or any other information.
And if any of you are looking for a new job in [city], please let me know and I’ll share some networking ideas with you.”