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Resource: Career Advice
How to Help Your Job Search By Helping Someone Else
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If you're a job seeker with a fellow job-seeking friend, stepping up to help them can actually benefit your own search. This job search buddy system is similar to friends who pair up for a fitness program. That mutual support can keep you both motivated and on track. Here are some tips on how to be a helpful job searching coach:

1) Only offer advice that is asked for in areas that you are familiar with. 
Job seekers attract unsolicited career advice like bees to pollen. With advice coming at them from every which way, much of it is often repetitive or more damaging than helpful. Unless you are both seeking jobs in the same field, refrain from giving advice that may only apply in your case. Instead, when they do ask you for some help provide some pointers in terms of resources they can turn to for the information they're looking for.

2) Respect their space.
As a friend, it's understandable that you want to play a part in his success. The pressure of finding a job and doing well in interviews is high enough as you can imagine so the support you both offer one another is meant to ease stress of being unemployed, not add to it. If he doesn't keep you updated on how his search is going, even if you wish he would, leave it up to him to share what he's comfortable with.

3) It's nothing personal if your advice isn't taken.
In reality, no one ever takes every piece of advice given to them. We all take the advice and insight given to us and use it form our own decisions. If you're prone to taking things personally, it might help you thicken your skin, an important trait to have in a job search.

4) Share your connections.
A job search is the best situation to have a "friends-with-benefits" relationship, the benefits being access to the other's connections. Having the advantage of someone else's network at allows yours to be twice the size  with less amount of work.

5) Network together.
Going anywhere alone where you don't know anyone is usually more dreadful than exciting at first. Eventually everyone loosens up once they start chatting but it's always easier to get the conversation going when you've got a wing man. You and your friend will more than likely end up going to more networking events together than either of you would have alone.