Why this job hunter's post is one-way begging, not networking for help

by: Joanne Meehl

A Project Manager in job search who we'll call Pete posted the following to a networking group of about 2,500 professionals, most of whom are looking for their next position, as well:

Hello all,

I'm looking for a little inside nudge to an application I have in at MegaFinancial Corp., in the Investment Division, Delivery Management office. They are looking for a Project Manager and I've applied for the position.


Pete Robertson

After a few days, I saw that Pete had no responses.

What's wrong with what Pete said, and why didn't it work for him? Here are a few reasons I'd give Pete:

  1. Pete, you're not helping us help you. You use no email signature that tells us about you or gives us contact information, no link to your LinkedIn profile which would instantly tell us more about you. Make it easy for others to help.

  2. Also, you need to tell us something about why you're a fit. You are not moving readers to take even a bit of a risk and give their contacts to you, so first give us some confidence in your abilities: tell us a success story that supports your candidacy.

  3. You don't tell us what else you've tried, something that could prompt people to pause and try to help you in other ways.

  4. Last, Pete, you're saying, "I applied there, so now you help me" -- as if just asking will inspire readers to help you. Instead, acknowledge that you'd appreciate people are going out of their way to share their network with you, that you understand it's not automatic and that you are grateful for the help. And that YOU can help their contacts. Some humility is always a good thing.

So how about saying it like this next time:

Hello all,

I'm looking for a little inside help with an application I have in at MegaFinancial Corp., in the Investment Division, Delivery Management group for Project Manager. I've checked LinkedIn but don't have any contacts in my network.

This position would be a great next step for me. It would allow me to build on my successes in financial project management. One example: at ABC Financial, I took a cumbersome process and streamlined it so that the team increased its accuracy while taking 20% less time.

I realize that sharing your contacts takes some trust. I'm happy to talk with you offline about how when I network with your contacts, I always offer to help them, whether or not they can help me. I appreciate what your network means to you.

Many thanks,

Pete Robertson

Project Manager, Financial Services




So, Pete and everyone else: Make your next appeal to your network really count. Help them help you, and your search will be so much more effective.


Leave a Comment

Blog Archive