I am interested in a position at a company where a friend of mine works. How should I initially reach out to my friend on the inside for some help to be considered for the role? Can I get my friend’s job referral? – Vanessa in San Mateo, California
Amanda: Vanessa, how I would approach my friend depends on how well we know each other. If it’s a close friend who I talk to regularly, I would start by mentioning that they’ve said how much they love their job/the company. Then ask, “I noticed a job posting for X, and I would love to have the job. Would you be able to pass my resume on to the right person or recommend me to the hiring manager?” Your friend will probably be happy to help, but if not, don’t hold it against her.
If my friend is more of a casual acquaintance or we don’t talk as often, I would be more cautious and polite. Start the conversation by asking them how long they’ve been working at X company, how well they like it, etc. Then ask them the same question as above. Again, be understanding if your friend isn’t comfortable doing this. But if she is, don’t forget to thank her!
Lynn: I would start by letting your friend know you are aware of the open position within her organization. Then ask if she would be open to helping you out. Assure your friend that you want her to be comfortable and you understand if she can’t help. Give her an easy out and no strings. If your friend is ready and willing to help, take them to coffee or lunch to learn as much information as possible – about the organization, department, position, manager, and hiring process. Is there anything that will help you stand out? Will your friend be able to guide you or provide a personal recommendation? Landing a position often includes a component of who you know, and your friend could make a big difference.
Remember to thank your friend for her assistance!
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.