With friends like these, who needs a recruiter?
If that’s not your immediate thought when you think about your friends in conjunction with your job search, perhaps it’s time for a rethink. Your friends are as much a part of your network as your boss, colleagues, fellow alumni, mentors and coaches and there’s no reason why they can’t help you find a job in much the same way as these other types of contacts can.
Tell your friends what you’re trying to achieve. Be clear about what it is you’re looking for.
When you give them that level of detail, they can in turn be specific in the advice they give you.
Friends will be direct about telling you to do things that may have been staring you in the face but you haven’t yet seen.
You can ask a friend if they’ve got a moment for a chat or a coffee to just informally reflect with you. You can be comfortable with them because they're your friend and will listen to all your hopes, fears and other observations on your job hunt. It’s a good opportunity to get it all out and also to hear what someone who knows you really well has to say in response.
When you’re finding a job you’re trying to know and be known. Friends can help you do this by introducing you to their own recruiters, head-hunters and networking contacts.
If you’re not even sure what field you want to work in, let alone what type of job you want, try asking your friends about their own professions, sectors and industries.
If you want to know how to find a job, ask people with jobs. Although you have to find your own path as opposed to copying a friend’s job search method right down to the very last detail, hearing how other people succeeded may give you some hope, encouragement and inspiration for your own journey.
We all know going to networking events is a great way of getting out and about and meeting people who could be useful to you in your job hunt, but it can be tough to walk into a room full of strangers by yourself. Taking your friend along as a wingperson might make it easier for you to get into the swing of things, just beware the trap of spending the whole time talking to the one person you already know.
You can’t be in job-search mode all the time; it can be exhausting! Finding a job may be a full-time job in itself and we all need time to relax, recuperate and do something different to the daily grind. Plan some quality time with your friends to do the things you love to do together and to also try out new activities.
Something that can never be overstated is how crucial it is to know where our strengths and talents lie before we can go out and get the right job for us. Sit down with each of your friends and ask them what they think you’re best at, what your biggest strength is, what qualities they admire in you and any other pertinent questions that come to mind.
Although it can be beneficial to go through your CV with a professional career coach, letting a friend review it in the first instance is also a good idea. This fresh pair of eyes will pick up on any typos you may have missed and may also come up with suggestions on how to better get across the real you in the CV.
Talk about how the sophisticated AI systems scan for key words and get their feedback on whether you’ve got them all in there.