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I lost my job 2 months ago for a non-performance related reason and it still bothers me a little to this day. I learned my lesson and have moved on (or trying my best). I have 3 years of experience out of college in the financial services sector. I've been scouring job sites, looking at ads on numerous university boards, reaching out to people nearly everyday but haven't had much luck. There aren't many new job postings. I reached out to someone high up at a company who graduated from my university and he is open to a phone call. How can I turn this phone call into a possible job offer opportunity? Any advice for what to talk about and how to guide this call without coming across as too aggressive?
I'm doing fine financially since I had saved a large safety net but I'm concerned about having an extended gap on my resume.

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I think you got the wrong idea from my post.

OP's post is essentially saying, "I want to ask some high up person if there... (more)

tolamapS (Nov. 26, 2012 @ 11:03p) |

Many people have read the OP and have offered suggestions on how the OP might accomplish his goals without directly sayi... (more)

mikeres (Nov. 27, 2012 @ 2:12a) |

Actually it is popular in Asia and Europe and if the study quoted here (http://www.economist.com/node/21551535) is to be... (more)

secstate (Nov. 27, 2012 @ 5:12p) |

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A few pointers:
Don't seem desperate.
Ask him about what his company's/division's/team's major challenges & objectives are. Make enough small talk so that he knows you understand the space, but not so much that it seems like a hard sell.
Make the ask a soft ask (unless you are getting a really positive he-wants-to-hire-you vibe): "I'm looking to do X at a company like Y or Z. As I'm doing my search, would you mind if I reached out to you for some advice? If you hear about any positions that would be a fit, I'd really appreciate a heads up."

Post resume.

whew thought u were going to request something elseubermichaelthomas said:   Post resume.

Just because someone is open to a phone call doesn't mean they have a job opening for you.

Be honest, tell him your situation, and ask if he knows of any opportunities within his organization that would be a fit for you.

Keep it simple. Simple works.

Can you move to somewhere else (another city/state) that has a better job market?

It's hard to ask someone for a favor on the first interaction, but since you have at least a little bit of history -- I'd be very honest, tell him that you were laid off (hopefully you have a good reference at former company). Tell him that you're not in a tight spot yet, but you are working your connections to find any positions that might be out there. You'd appreciate it if he would keep you in mind for anything he hears about, or you would appreciate it if he could refer you to anyone that might be able to point you in the right direction.

Thank him, offer to buy lunch for him someone. He won't accept most likely, but that doesn't mean you don't offer. Put him on your list to follow-up with in a few weeks/month. Let him know if you find something, make sure in the future that you keep up with him a few times a year. Developing a network is important, and in the future you should do it before you need said network.

kloakndaggers said:   whew thought u were going to request something elseubermichaelthomas said:   Post resume.

That's the subtle way of asking for pic as a small number of people do put a photo of themselves on the resume.

SS7Man said:   That's the subtle way of asking for pic as a small number of people do put a photo of themselves on the resume.

Only hot chicks & dbags.

1) Keep up the good work by using multiple sources to look for new positions (people, job boards, etc.).

2) Follow ryoung81's advice above. My only suggestion would be to ask for his advice - ask him questions that are on your mind, because he probably has more experience. If it was me personally searching, I would ask things like whether you should be looking in the same industry, if you should consider this an opportunity to begin pursuing an MBA, etc. The approach to advice is so that he does most of the talking - you don't want to be the one doing the talking in this call.

People like giving advice and people like being heard - let him do most of it. Your "ask" at the end as ryoung81 said should be something along the lines of offering to buy lunch and/or something similar.

That something similar for me would be one of two things: (1) Asking him to read over a cover letter & resume for the next job you apply for, or (2) Asking him to pass along information on openings that he hears about.

Good job on saving money prior to this occurring and not living paycheck to paycheck. The financial flexibility and peace of mind it has provided you was probably well worth it.

Job hunting is work work work. Make connections and contacts through friends and friends of friends. If you are pleasant and leave a good impression people will remember you and think of you when a job prospect arises. Just like a good product that you refer to your friends. It is not easy and that is why a lot of people who are not hard workers tend to be with out jobs for a while - not that I am saying you are - that wasn't the point.

Good luck.

Happy hunting.

One technique that sometimes works (after you have chatted him up) is to ask him if he knows of any company that might have an opening that you might be qualified for.
Yes, this will be recognized as a transparent ploy, but at least it doesn't put your contact on the spot or force him into a position that says, "no I don't want to hire you".

After speaking with you and/or reviewing your resume he he might put a good word in for you either at his company or elsewhere.
If not, then try and network through him to see if you can get another person to contact.

It's a game of numbers.
The more people you know and the more people you contact, the better your chance of finding a new position.

Good luck.

Tell him you can bench double your body weight and do 35 pullups

Squeezer99 said:   Can you move to somewhere else (another city/state) that has a better job market?

Yes, I'm willing to relocate anywhere if the job opportunity is relevant to the career path that I am aiming for

If there is a suitable position avaiable ultimately it's going to up to the hiring manager to decide whether or not you're the best candidate. Connections might be able to land you lower skill positions, but it can only take you so far with higher level and more competitive positions. You shouldn't have expecatations that a connection can just create or land a job for you.

I will offer you a few more pointers:

1. You are the best person to identify jobs that will be a good fit for. Asking someone if there are any jobs that you can apply for is already asking lack of preparation on your part,

2. Most people can not help you get a job. You need to help yourself get a job,

I say the above based on some friends asking me to help them find a job.

tolamapS said:   I will offer you a few more pointers:

1. You are the best person to identify jobs that will be a good fit for. Asking someone if there are any jobs that you can apply for is already asking lack of preparation on your part,

2. Most people can not help you get a job. You need to help yourself get a job,

I say the above based on some friends asking me to help them find a job.
I disagree with you.
Reading your post you're saying you were not able to help your friends find a job when they asked you for help therefore the OP should not expect other people to help him find a job.
To the contrary, networking with people , friends, groups and organisations can provide an excellent way of getting job leads.

I agree with you that only the OP would know if he is interested/suitable for a job.
That does not mean that he should avoid asking other people if they know of any job openings.
He is in a position to ignore or follow up on any information that he receives.

raringvt said:   SS7Man said:   That's the subtle way of asking for pic as a small number of people do put a photo of themselves on the resume.
Only hot chicks & dbags.


Or chicks who think they are hot. Boy, I've seen some embarassingly-big hair photos on resumes of washed-up Texas beauty queens.

In a subtle way, I think photos of no-longer-hot chicks just say "I'm out of touch with reality." I've hired some talented uggos, but never one who put a picture on the resume.

Be someone who, if recommended by X to work for Y, will make X look good for recommending you.

That's it.

mikeres said:   tolamapS said:   I will offer you a few more pointers:

1. You are the best person to identify jobs that will be a good fit for. Asking someone if there are any jobs that you can apply for is already asking lack of preparation on your part,

2. Most people can not help you get a job. You need to help yourself get a job,

I say the above based on some friends asking me to help them find a job.
I disagree with you.
Reading your post you're saying you were not able to help your friends find a job when they asked you for help therefore the OP should not expect other people to help him find a job.
To the contrary, networking with people , friends, groups and organisations can provide an excellent way of getting job leads.

I agree with you that only the OP would know if he is interested/suitable for a job.
That does not mean that he should avoid asking other people if they know of any job openings.
He is in a position to ignore or follow up on any information that he receives.


I think you got the wrong idea from my post.

OP's post is essentially saying, "I want to ask some high up person if there are any jobs suitable for me". I think jobs are posted publically in most cases. OP should go meet the higher-up friend, with 1 or 2 positions already in mind, and tell the higher-up that he is the perfect candidate for those positions because of X, Y, Z.

Asking someone, "hey are there any jobs in your company I can apply for" is like asking them to do all the work to find you a job while you sit on your ass.

tolamapS said:   mikeres said:   tolamapS said:   I will offer you a few more pointers:

1. You are the best person to identify jobs that will be a good fit for. Asking someone if there are any jobs that you can apply for is already asking lack of preparation on your part,

2. Most people can not help you get a job. You need to help yourself get a job,

I say the above based on some friends asking me to help them find a job.
I disagree with you.
Reading your post you're saying you were not able to help your friends find a job when they asked you for help therefore the OP should not expect other people to help him find a job.
To the contrary, networking with people , friends, groups and organisations can provide an excellent way of getting job leads.

I agree with you that only the OP would know if he is interested/suitable for a job.
That does not mean that he should avoid asking other people if they know of any job openings.
He is in a position to ignore or follow up on any information that he receives.


I think you got the wrong idea from my post.

OP's post is essentially saying, "I want to ask some high up person if there are any jobs suitable for me". I think jobs are posted publically in most cases. OP should go meet the higher-up friend, with 1 or 2 positions already in mind, and tell the higher-up that he is the perfect candidate for those positions because of X, Y, Z.

Asking someone, "hey are there any jobs in your company I can apply for" is like asking them to do all the work to find you a job while you sit on your ass.
You and I are reading the same words from the OP but not seeing the same thing.
I don't see where the OP is saying "I want to ask some high up person if there are any jobs suitable for me".
At least not in such a crass and obvious manner.
To the contrary, the OP says I reached out to someone high up at a company who graduated from my university and he is open to a phone call. How can I turn this phone call into a possible job offer opportunity? Any advice for what to talk about and how to guide this call without coming across as too aggressive? Many people have read the OP and have offered suggestions on how the OP might accomplish his goals without directly saying "do you have a job for me".

You are correct that many jobs are publicly posted.
One of the objectives of networking is to find out about jobs that are in the process of being approved, but have not yet been publicly posted, thereby allowing you to get your foot in the door before anyone else even knows about the job.
Also, if you have a cooperative contact you can find out about the corporate culture, salary range, personality of the manager you will be working for, turnover rates, opportunities for promotion, etc.

Also, your point that "Asking someone, "hey are there any jobs in your company I can apply for"" is the opposite of what I recommended.
The OP should chat with his contact for a while, make small talk, comment that perhaps the fact that his contact has been in the business longer than the OP has, and therefore might have heard of some companies in the industry that might be hiring.
During the conversation the Op would hopefully work in his job experience, accomplishments and objectives so his contact would have a better idea of what kind of person the OP was.
If the contact is suitably impressed with the OP then the contact might try and see if there were any opening in gs own company.

There you have it - Networking 101.

Schmoozing is an art and needs to be practiced, but pays big dividends when you become proficient.

raringvt said:   SS7Man said:   That's the subtle way of asking for pic as a small number of people do put a photo of themselves on the resume.

Only hot chicks & dbags.


Actually it is popular in Asia and Europe and if the study quoted here (http://www.economist.com/node/21551535) is to be believed attractive women might be doing themselves a disservice by including a photo unless the HR department is made up of mostly males .



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