No Job-Seeker Left Behind

Help Your Peers Land That Next Opportunity

By Published on .

Carly Rullman
Carly Rullman
It all started when I got an e-mail from a college friend asking if I knew of anyone looking for a position in public relations. At the time, her place of work was looking for someone who wanted hands-on experience and was ready to take their PR department by the horns. Now, if this e-mail had been sent eight months ago when I, myself, was looking for a job, I would have been ecstatic at the thought of being interviewed. Fortunately now, I have a job, where I am very happy, so this did not pertain to me -- but, that didn't mean the e-mail went to my trash.

Right away I forwarded the e-mail to a couple people: One of my friends who was in my college PR program and a former intern who worked for one of my clients. Not a hard, time-consuming task at all, and I was more than happy to do so.

Three weeks after that e-mail was sent, I have learned that my PR friend is going to be interviewed at that particular place of work. I am simply thrilled for her and so is she.

This simple act of helping out a friend or even someone only met through the working world continued on Twitter. In the past month, I have seen three posts on my Twitter stream about job openings. One was for an account executive at a popular magazine in town, one was for an e-mail marketing position (via fellow GenNext blogger, @adriennewaldo), and the other was for a job in account service. I simply re-tweeted these mentions to get a direct message that said: "Hey, thanks for the post about X job. I am sending my resume now!" I replied with nothing other than, "You are so welcome. I know what it's like to be in a tough job market!"

It wasn't long ago that I was trying to land a first job out of college, so I remember it all well. I was like a hawk, just waiting to pounce on any opportunity that came my way. I was all ears for any kind of job lead, a valuable contact or a simple re-tweet. I appreciated any help a great deal, because just a simple "Hey, I heard of this job; would you like me to pass along your resume?" could mean a future job.

So my advice to those who are fortunate enough to be gainfully employed: Don't forget what the job-hunt experience was like, and help others the way you were helped, or wanted to be helped.

Pass it on: Alert job seekers on opportunities through a forwarded e-mail and a quick "FYI." This takes no time away from your job.

Re-tweet: As mentioned above, this is the click of a button. When you see any kind of position, unpaid or not, share it.

Help build her network: Now that you are a professional in town, you are a great point person. Take a friend to a young professionals meeting, for example.

Write recommendations: When you forward on someone's resume, add in a note about how she is a strong candidate, how you know her, what project you have worked on with her and any other information to help the potential employer.

Throw in a good word: So often I am involved in a conversation where I hear of a company needing X type of person. Take that opportunity to throw out a name and your seal of approval. Get a business card and say, "I will pass this on to my friend so he can ask you more about that job opp."

Let's do lunch: This is so simple and the least you can do. You may not have a solution, but advice, time and encouragement are all valued during a friend's job hunt.

Carly Rullman is from Charlottesville, Va., and recently graduated from The University of Alabama. She majored in public relations and Spanish and served on the award-winning Advertising Team, as well as the forensics speech team. She worked as an account executive selling advertising space and marketing for UAB athletics before becoming an account coordinator at Scout Branding in Birmingham, Ala. She also helped build the communications department at Walnut Hill School in Natick, Mass., through a summer internship. In addition to account services at Scout, she enjoys practicing public relations, blogging, and researching and using social media. Outside of work, Carly is a member of the Red Mountain Theater Company, Birmingham Rotaract and Young Professionals of Birmingham.

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