3 ways to help your friends help you find a job.

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This a guest post by Melissa Cooley. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

In a recent meeting with one of my clients, he expressed frustration over the fact that some people in his life are constantly sending him job postings that are not a good fit. “It’s not just about getting a job,” he said.

Do you have someone (or a few someones) like that in your life? It could be a casual acquaintance, a good friend, or even a member of your family. Well intentioned though they may be, the postings they keep sending you completely miss the mark.

Here are three tips for dealing with people whose job suggestions are falling flat:

1. Say “thank you”

Yes, you may be rolling your eyes when you get another email or direct message on your shared social networking site that says, “Here’s a great job opportunity for you!” when it’s not. But, they are in your corner and are really are trying to help. They mean well, so do the courteous thing and show a little appreciation for the thought.

2. Bring them into your world

Is the person who is sending you the postings even aware of what you want to do and your activities to make that happen? If you are actively changing careers (as my client is doing), tell him/her what you are doing to make the transition a reality – taking classes, volunteering, interning, etc. By showing your clear plan for where you want to go and conveying enthusiasm for the direction you are moving into, you are inviting them in to support you in ways that will fit in with that plan.

3. Kindly offer suggestions for how they can support you

I know this isn’t the most comfortable thing to do, but this job search is about you and your needs. It’s not about their need to feel good about helping you (which really isn’t help if it misses the mark). Yes, the person you are correcting may be flustered or embarrassed at first. However, if they really care about you, they will take the suggestions you give because they want to support you.

Following these three tips will be a great benefit to your job hunt. You won’t have to spend as much energy being frustrated over people’s misguided attempts to help, and your network will be able to work more efficiently for you because they know exactly what you want and need!

How else have you dealt with people who send you job postings that are a bad fit? Tell us in the comments.

About the Author

Melissa Cooley portraitMelissa Cooley is a career consultant with a passion for helping people develop strategies to reach their goals and maximize their potential. As the founder of The Job Quest, she partners with individuals who are seeking employment or facing the confusion of navigating a career path. Melissa provides a fresh perspective and other resources on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

This article is part of the 4th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our Gold Sponsor, Jason Alba of JibberJobber. If you want Melissa Cooley to win, share this article with your friends.

Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for more ideas on how to get the most of your job search network.

Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Pingback: Help Me Help You Win Some Stuff! : The Job Quest

  2. Jan

    Great article- I really didn’t know you did this sort of thing!

  3. Hey Melissa! Nice to see you here! As always, you have great points. I think that some people tend to think that any job when someone is unemployed is a solution. I was driving with my youngest son last night and he was telling me that there are some jobs he does not want and he knows exactly why. Certain customer service roles do not appeal to him at all. I would guess that is true with most job seekers but well-meaning friends and family especially if they have a financial stake in the job seeker finding a new position may continue to push on jobs that don’t fit. It will take strength from the job seeker to stay on track. Your tips will help.

  4. Melissa Cooley

    @Jan: Thanks! And yes, I am a career consultant. Officially, it’s a relatively newer venture, but I’ve been informally doing it for years 🙂

    @Julie: Thank you for your comments! I agree — it takes a great deal of strength to stay true to oneself in that situation, particularly since self-doubt creeps in if the time in transition lasts longer than anticipated. Never a good idea to acquiesce if the suggested job is definitely a bad fit.

    @anime: Thank you.

  5. Pingback: Carole Heiss

  6. hayim abramson

    a comment for Melissa here:

    In any case, if it helps you:
    your article on giving thanks every for bad job advise was very clear and to the point.
    Myself I write poems in Spanish and English. I am also a teacher of Spanish.

    How To Deal With Good Friends Who Send Bad Job Listings

  7. Melissa Cooley

    Thanks for reading and for your comment, Hayim! I’m glad you found the post helpful.

  8. mirwais

    helolo me name is mirwais pls i need jobs i know computer and english this me phone no 009786565304

  9. hayim abramson

    your ideas were useful to me. I FW to a friend and
    told her what kind of job, as a teacher of Spanish
    I would like to do.
    thank you,

  10. provi

    I feel somewhat vindicated after reading this. EVERYONE suggests the worst jobs to me. I have to support my household and afford a car and people suggesting the most ridiculous jobs such as TJMaxx or Pizza Hut and seriously? You think I can afford to pay for another, second car with that job? Its so upsetting.

    1. Jacob Share

      Good on you for resisting bad advice even if it’s well-intended. Not an easy thing to do, and people have a tendency to not want to help if they see you didn’t listen the first time.

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