How to use your contacts to help your job search


These days it would be easy to think that the only way to find a job is to sit hour after hour firing off your CV to jobs on line via Monster, Total jobs, Reed, Jobcentre plus and the loads of other online job boards found on a Google search .

However, the old saying it’s not what you know but who, is still very relevant indeed when it comes to job hunting. Your contacts are not limited to someone you know where a job is available but are part of the hidden job market, they often know of jobs coming up before they are even advertised, in fact the job may not be going to be advertised at all if it can be filled quickly by someone suitable that somebody in the company knows, and this somebody may just be one of your contacts and knows you.

How to create your list of useful contacts:

Often when looking for a job, people look to family and friends for help, in fact some young people may get a chance at a job because their parents either work at the company or know someone who does…or they even own the company. Jobs are often got through work experience or a spell as an intern. This tradition of family and friends helping you into a job goes back years, way back into history it has always been common, with children following parents and or older brothers and sisters down the mines, into service or working at the mill.

Your family and friends belong in your contact list along with school friends and work colleagues that you may still be in touch with and even neighbours.

Many of these people will be willing to help you in your job search or business venture, they may know other people who can help you, and they may make introductions for you. However, it needs to be said that especially when you are thinking about becoming self-employed and starting a business, family and friends do worry because they care about you and want reassurance that you will be financially stable. You may well find that you do not get the encouragement you were hoping for when planning to start a business. It is up to you to convince the doubters, only you making a go of it and being successful can do that.

Members of a worship group, political party that you belong to, social club and community centres are also people to consider are your contacts. Check out your local community centre and get yourself known at the local library, many of them run job clubs. You will get to use their heating and internet rather than your own, make new friends who are also job hunting and having support from people in the same position is a great booster, and of course, you may get a job. At Job clubs it often happens when people are doing job searches that they find a job for another member and you find just the job for them. People who share the same faith as yourself, the same political ideals or the same hobbies are often well placed to help you get a job.

People from whom you buy things, such as the local shops, the newsagent, the postman etc and the supermarkets are all potential contacts and worth asking if they know about any available suitable jobs. When it comes to helping you, there is something in it too for local shop keepers, being seen as helpful and friendly is good for their business and also if you have a good job, it may well increase your purchasing power .

Many people maintain contacts and even friendships with former colleagues or employers, indeed we spend so much time at work that it is well known to be one for the main places friendships are formed. However, keeping a good relationship with them has more benefits than just someone to meet up with for a drink, they may well know about or even have suitable jobs on offer

Although those mentioned here are old traditional methods of using those you know to help you get a job, never fail to also harness the potential power of your social media contacts, it’s amazing how good a friend Facebook friends and LinkedIn contacts can be, you may never meet them but they may help you to find a job.

These are some ideas for who should be the basis of your contacts list when looking for a job , use as many of them as possible , and when you speak with them, never be embarrassed about saying you are looking for a job , it happens to all of us at some time . And when asking for help, always be sure that people know you would do the same for them …..

Valerie Hedges


About veh3959

I’m Valerie and like so many today am looking for a job while over 50 and with health issues. While looking for work and trying to make myself employable I have come across lots of useful information and resources, so thought I would share them
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