Getting a job can be hard. You don't want to send your resume only for it to be forgotten in a big pile of resumes.
Worse: with more companies using automated software, your resume might never be seen by a human being at all.
Asking a friend or an ex-colleague/boss to forward your resume to a decision-maker can be the best way to get a job.
Getting a resume forward can be as good as getting a referral or having somebody vouch for you.
But how do you convince somebody to do it? Here are some examples.
Hi John, how's it going? - 
Saw your vacation pictures on Instagram. Looks like you've had a blast. Feeling a little jealous! - 
I'm looking to apply for a position at [such company] as a [the job title you want]. - 
Can you help get my resume delivered to somebody in charge of hiring at [team/department you want to work for]? - 
PS: Would love to hang out again and have a cup of coffee like the good old days. 
You can use this 5 point template, no matter whether you know the person.
Hi Mary, it's been a while! How are you doing?
Congratulations on your new baby, I'm so happy for you.
I've noticed your last job is looking to hire [job position] and I think I could be a good fit there.
Can you help me connect to [somebody in charge of hiring]? I'd really appreciate it.
PS: It's been a while since we've been out for lunch, we should go out soon!
Always be short and to the point. Brief messages get read. Long messages get ignored.
It's great if your friend can make an introduction(this is the ideal). Alternatively, send them your resume and have them forward it to the person.
If possible, call them. Phone calls are always more effective than emailing. This is true for both strangers and people you know.
this is [Your Name]. Long time no see.
Loved working with you on [project] when we were at [old company]. Do you still work there?
I've just moved back to the city and I'm looking to apply at [new/old company].
Do you know the person responsible for hiring there? Would really appreciate it if you help me connect to the right person or get my resume forwarded to them.
this is [Your Name]. We worked together at [old company]. How are you doing?
I noticed [old/new manager's company] has opened positions for [job title]. I'm looking to move from my current job and would love to apply there.
Could you please look at my resume and tell me if there's something missing?
I'd appreciate it if you could forward it to somebody who's in charge of hiring.
I'm [Your Name], we're mutual friends with Robert. We met at last year's Christmas Party, remember?
I'm messaging you because I'm considering a career move and I know your company is hiring again.
Would it be possible to forward my resume to someone responsible for hiring at your company?
It would mean a lot to me.
With a person you don't know well, it might be better to start a conversation before you ask for the resume forward.
These people are much less likely to feel like they own you something, which makes delaying the request a smart strategy.
Also, try to find common ground. Friends in common, hobbies(check social media), past job experience, and so on.
Sometimes you just want people to help you get a job, but you don't have a target company in mind.
You can leverage your entire social network to help you get a job. Here's how to do it:
Over the last 2 years, I've been a social media marketer at ABC Corp, but I'm currently looking for a new challenge.
I'd like to embrace a manager position at a marketing company, ideally in the NYC area. I believe my last job has given me the experience and skills I need to make the jump.
If you know of a company that's hiring for a manager position then please reply to this email.
My previous experience:
Thanks in advance,
Messaging your entire audience is a "shotgun" approach to getting a job. But it can work very well.
Sometimes, all you need to change the trajectory of your career is a referral from an acquaintance.
Sometimes you won't get a reply. And it's not because people didn't care. It's because they didn't see your message.
Follow up a couple of times and you're much more likely to hear from them. And if you don't hear back from a friend, call him.
Don't forget to thank those who come forward to help you. Sometimes a thank you note is all it takes to make somebody's day.
Make sure they know you appreciate their help and remind them you're there for them if they need you.
It's helpful to get your social media accounts - especially your LinkedIn profile - ready before you send these messages.
People will look out for your online presence, and you want to be ready for that.
Never post on your Facebook or LinkedIn's wall asking for a job or a referral.
Because the message is not sent to anybody in particular, there will be a "diffusion of responsibility" and people are unlikely to assist you.
It's not that they don't care. It's just that they think somebody else will help you. Remember: people are lazy.
As a general rule, the more personal a communication medium is, the higher your success rate.
You should send a text message rather than an email if you're asking a favor from a friend. Here's a text message sample:
Hi John, I'm looking forward to moving from my job and I noticed you're friends with [person] that works at [the company].
I want to apply for a job there. Can you please forward my resume to [person]? Thanks!
Text messages should always be smaller than emails. But they are more powerful because they're harder to ignore.
Ultimately, the quality and strength of your network will determine your success.
Always be willing to meet new people in your industry. Go to events and parties. Ask for introductions. Make friends!
Never forget this important lesson: "Your network is your net worth".