When you are engaged in a job hunt, whether you are looking for a position at a professional web design company or just want to take on better clients as a freelancer, talking to friends and family can be a great way to start. However, there are a few things you should remember to do and a not do when looking to those you know for referrals.
Tip #1: DO Make a List of People You Know Directly
When searching for a web design job, it is perfectly okay to make a list of friends and family members who might have contacts in the industry and/or possibly need your freelance services. Many job positions are never advertised, making word-of-mouth a great way to get the news out that you are available. Include former coworkers, family members, and friends that are direct to you—do not assume that just because you have a common friend or relative that it is okay to add certain people to this list.
Tip #2: DON'T Go Overboard
Once you have made your list, contact the people on it with a simple email or telephone call. Leveraging personal relationships is perfectly fine as long as you don't take things overboard. Sending a follow up message or call every few weeks there after is also okay. Just remember that there is a fine line between saying you are ready to work and downright begging to be hired based simply on knowing someone.
Tip #3: DO Ask Friends and Family to Share Your Information
As soon as you have told friends and family that you are looking for a job position, be sure to let them know it is okay to share your information with their direct contacts. This can be other friends, neighbors, church members, coworkers, or whomever they feel is appropriate. You never know if someone on their list could be looking to fill a spot at a professional web design company.
Tip #4: DON'T Assume It Is Okay to Reach Out to Second-Degree Contacts Without an Introduction
If your relative or friend shares your information with a potential employer and that employer contacts you, it is certainly acceptable to talk to them directly. However, keeping tip number three in mind, do not call or email direct contacts of your friends or relatives without asking permission first. Blind siding both the contact and the person you know can be a great way to create strife, which is not what you want when looking for a job.
The key to finding a position—either at a professional web design company or at a freelance web designer job—is to get the word out that you are currently looking. Keeping the four tips mentioned in this piece in mind, it can be quite easy to leverage personal relationships to find out who is hiring.
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