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

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. These are the people in your life who already know, like & trust you.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JeffW June 15, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Speaking as someone who is currently in the middle of a job search, I think this approach comes off as tacky, desperate, and an imposition on your contacts. If they know you, they already know what you do, and that you're looking. If not, then they have little reason to waste their time with email spam. Shrug. LinkedIn is the proper place, imho, for letting your business contacts know your employment status and business background.
Dana D'Orsi June 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Thank you for your thoughts, Jeff. Here's a different take. I find that many times, family, friends and acquaintances might know your title or the general field you're in, but they don't really get what you do specifically. For example, your neighbor or cousin may know that you're a "Operations Manager" or "Quality Assurance Specialist" but they have no clue what that really means. (Speaking from experience, I was in the Communications/PR field for 8 years and my own parents never understood what I did.) So this tactic just helps educate the people who know you in case they hear about an opportunity that could be right for you. Also, many people look for a job while they're currently in another job--so the people in your "circle" might not already know that you're looking for something else. Certainly, LinkedIn is a great place for connecting with business contacts--but I think of this as an alternate strategy to expand your circle of professional supporters. I believe in using multiple strategies when looking for a job--and this is just one of the options I recommend. Of course, I certainly believe that someone should only use this strategy if they feel comfortable with it. So that's my take...Again, appreciate you taking the time to share your persepective. - Dana

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