Throughout our careers (and especially during the job search), we are often focused on what we need or what we should ask for from others—whether that be a recommendation, introduction or resume help. However, networking (one of the biggest drivers of success in the hunt for a new role) is a two-way street that should reflect a position of giving in addition to receiving.
Keep in mind when you are trying to cultivate professional connections (that may eventually even lead you to your next career move) that the ultimate end goal should be to create a mutually beneficial relationship. And that requires both your time and your effort.
The good news? You can take small, tangible steps to build your professional community and those small steps will eventually add up to a big impact.
Here are ten authentic ways to offer support to job seekers in your network without taking a ton of your time or energy:
1. Write LinkedIn recommendations
Write LinkedIn recommendations for your current or past colleagues and endorse them for their skills. You may be surprised at how many recommendations you receive in return!
2. Review their resume
Offer to review someone’s resume. Check out our resume writing tips over at The Study to brush up on best practices.
3. Pass on their resume
Reach out to your network on behalf of others, share their posts and pass on their resume as it’s appropriate. And do it without an incoming request if you know someone in need.
4. Send them any relevant job leads
Actively think about who is looking and make 100% sure to forward any and all job leads to those people. It could be "the one"!
5. Make an introduction
Make an authentic introduction for someone that you know will be mutually beneficial for both parties. Use the opportunity to speak highly of both, outlining specifically why you are introducing them and for what purpose.
6. Give a referral
Participate in the employee referral program in your company (and added bonus if your company offers any financial incentive for doing so!)
7. Conduct a mock interview
Volunteer to do a mock interview with someone who is job hunting.
8. Share programs and resources
Pass along any helpful programs and resources you come across. Think virtual networking events and sessions like The Mom Project's Unity Hour, or resources like The Study that offer career guidance. Refer job seekers impacted by COVID-19 hardships to Unity coaching if they qualify, or sign up if you do!
9. Become a booster
You don't need to be a certified career coach to offer support and guidance. Join RALLY from The Mom Project to get matched with a mom (or mom advocate) looking for support as they push their career in a new direction.
Simply check-in and see how someone is doing. Encouragement during the search can go a long way.
Cultivating relationships and finding your space in any professional community is a process, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Take it a little at a time and you’ll make your way toward success, helping boost others along the way.