Looking for a New Job? Enlist Your “Unpaid Sales Force” in the Hunt

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by Dana on May 15, 2012

If you’re in the market for a new job, be sure to multiply your search efforts by recruiting your “unpaid sales force” to help.

Your “unpaid sales force” consists of the people in your life who already know, like and trust you—your family, friends and former colleagues. They’re the people who would love nothing better than to sing your praises to others and help you out, so it’s your job to educate them on the best way to do so.

Here’s what to do:

  • Make a list of your contacts. Use your cell phone contacts, email contacts, Christmas card list, etc. to pull together the list.
  • Send each person an email—or better yet, a letter in the mail—to let them know you’re looking for new job opportunities.
  • In the note, explain exactly what your ideal job would look like—the industry, job level, your preferred geographic location and work environment, etc.
  • Ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for available openings that fit your description.
  • Close the note by asking them to let you know if there’s anything you can do to help them out in return.

This way, when these people are at a cocktail party, on the golf course or at a PTO meeting and someone mentions that their company is hiring and the job seems like a match, they can say, “I have the perfect candidate for you! Let me tell you about him or her…”

Feeling a bit squeamish about putting yourself out there like this? That’s totally normal. Just ask yourself this question: How would you feel if one of the people you’re reaching out to  sent a similar note to you? Would you feel inconvenienced or annoyed—or would you be happy to help them out if the opportunity presented itself?

So, how do you feel about this approach? Share your thoughts in the comments below.