Tips for Paying it Forward During a Job Search

Tips for Paying it Forward During a Job Search

In a competitive job market, everyone who is job seeking wants to find a new position as quickly as possible. Although it’s important to keep in mind your best interests, helping fellow job seekers advance their career can inspire them to provide similar assistance to you and others in the future.

Whether or not you believe in that old adage, “What goes around, comes around,” you might want to consider how you can incorporate acts of kindness and concern for others into your job search. After all, human nature predisposes us towards reciprocation and some of the people you help may end up in positions where they can return the favor.

Of course, doing good for others is intrinsically rewarding regardless of whether there is any payback.  Doing good feels good, and even a little act of kindness and a few minutes of your time can make a big difference in the outcome of a friend or family member’s job search.

Tips for Paying it Forward During a Job Search

There are countless ways that you can pay it forward while in job search mode.  The following tips will give you a few ideas about meaningful actions that will be beneficial to others – and may turn out to help you too.

Share job leads and introductions. If you know of a friend, acquaintance or coworker looking for a job in your field of expertise, or in a field where you have resources and connections, offer to help, whether by funneling job leads to them or introducing them to colleagues.

Proofread job application materials. Offer to proofread and review the resume or cover letter of a friend, and provide suggestions for strengthening the document. See if they’ll do the same for you! Another pair of eyes can help pick up typos you missed. Review these tips for updating a resume before you get started.

Help with an interview outfit. Does your friend desperately need an outfit for an upcoming interview, but doesn’t have the resources – financial, time or otherwise – to shop? Share an interviewing outfit with an individual in need. Or, if you can afford it, get them a gift certificate so they can choose their own outfit.

Contact your college. Alumni networking is one of the most effective ways for graduates to find jobs. Contact the career office at your school and offer to serve on a career panel or participate in an alumni job fair.  Suggest that your job seeking friends check to see what services their career and alumni offices provide.

Take your friend to lunch or coffee. If you have a friend who’s looking for a job or a former colleague who is now unemployed, treat him and her to lunch or coffee and a morale building session.

Set up a job shadow. Host a job shadow visit at your organization for a friend, colleague or student intrigued by your work.

Endorse and recommend on LinkedIn. Compose and submit LinkedIn recommendations for associates. Endorse your contact’s skills on LinkedIn. The more robust their (and your) LinkedIn profile is, the better your chances of getting found by helpful connections and recruiters. Here are simple tips for spiffing up your LinkedIn profile.

 Make some introductions. If you’re still employed or have connections at your former organization, introduce job seekers to colleagues who work in departments related to their interests. You can send an “e-introduction” via email, or if your interests overlap, arrange a group coffee or lunch meeting.

 Practice interviewing. Offer to help your friends or colleagues with their interviewing skills. Take turns posing as the interviewer and interviewee to mutually improve your interview technique. The more you both practice, the better the impression you’ll make. Review these tips for acing a job interview.

Refer someone to a job. Recommend another, more suitable candidate if you discover a job isn’t a good fit for you but the employer holds you in high regard.

 Organize a job club or meet up. Organize a job search group or “meet up” to share advice and contacts, review each other’s cover letters and resumes, and practice interviewing.

Offer to provide a reference. Call a contact at an employer of interest for a former colleague or a trusted friend seeking a job, and offer to give a recommendation.

Keep in touch. A job search can take a while, so remember to check back every now and then to see how your job seeking connections are doing. Even a quick email or social media message will show your support.

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  • August 6, 2022