If you’re like most job seekers, you get asked this question all the time. It makes you a little (or very) uncomfortable. You brush it off with a quick “It’s going okay” or “I’m hating it!”
What if this question could actually be a mini job search networking opportunity?
I owe these awesome suggestions to Jason Alba, the inventor of Jibberjobber, a unique online tool that helps you organize your job search contacts and tasks. Here’s Jason’s suggestion:
Interpret this question to mean “How can I help you in your job search?”
Presumably, the reason people ask about your search is that they care (at least a little bit). So give them an easy way to help by asking them a question that could give you useful information to move your job search forward.
What question should you ask?
Here’s what Jason suggests:
“It’s going okay. I’m looking for an introduction to someone who works at one of my target companies. Do you know anyone who works at Company A, Company B, or Company C?”
Wow! Suddenly this casual inquiry has the potential to result in a valuable new connection with someone who might be able to refer you into a job.
The same acquaintance is likely to ask again at some point, a few days or weeks down the line. Next time, try a new question. How about this:
“It’s going well. Right now I’m looking to do informational interviews with (people in a certain occupation or industry). Do you know anyone like that?”
What question should you not ask?
Don’t ask “Have you heard of any openings?” Good networking focuses on gathering information and introductions, not sad little answers like “No, I’m sorry, I haven’t, but I’ll keep you in mind.” Instead, ask about companies and people.
How often should you use this technique?
Frequently! Adopt this easy habit – and greatly improve the results of your job search!
If you’d like to read Jason’s post, visit the Jibberjobber Blog.