4 Questions to Ask Your Network Besides, "Can You Get Me a Job?"

You’ve purposely gone out and networked so that you’ll have people to ask for help finding a job.

But instead of responding to you with amazing job openings, they simply say, “Let me know what I can do to help.” So, you just reply with “Thanks!” because you’re not quite sure what to say back.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of ways your contacts can help you job search even if they can’t get you an interview at their company, you just have to know what to ask.

Try one of these four questions:

1. To the Friend With a Sharp Eye: “Could You Proofread My Resume?”

You’ve looked at your resume so many times that you know it by heart. That’s a good thing—except when it comes to checking it over a final time. Because if you’ve missed typos on every prior read-through, there’s a chance you won’t catch them before you send in your application.

And cutting errors out of your materials is an important step to landing more interviews. Especially because most positions require attention to detail—and sending in a typo-free resume is one easy way to show that you have it.

2. To the Person in Your Dream Role: “Am I Highlighting the Right Experience?”

Company cultures vary, as do the skills needed to excel in a given position. If your contact works at your target company or does the kind of work you hope to do, ask for more specific feedback. Muse writer Jon Carpenter suggests you ask someone with firsthand knowledge about how you described your skills using these four questions:

  1. “How would you react to [someone] claiming to have these traits?”
  2. “Is there anything on this you don’t believe or that makes you pause?”
  3. “Can you think of any better words to use than the ones I have here?”
  4. “Are there any red flags or gold stars that stand out?”

Job descriptions are often lengthy, so you have to choose which qualifications you’ll describe in depth. Based on your contact’s feedback, you’ll be able to make sure you highlight the right ones, which’ll help you have the strongest, most relevant application possible.