The basis for any successful relationship is the ability to understand the exact expectations of the other person. You may think you have asked someone for help, but that may not be understood by the people you approach. Be specific about the type of referrals and recommendations you are hoping to obtain as well as what you might be able to do for them. A one-way relationship without communication is never a success either in your personal life or job search.
Avoid the following Actions:
Action: Making negative remarks
Impact: They may hesitate to refer you if you are negative
Action: Having a depressed attitude
Impact: They may question your confidence
Action: Asking if they know of any job openings
Impact: Limits places to just those with openings
Action: Is their company hiring
Impact: Answer is probably “no”
Action: Willingness to do any job, anytime, at any salary
Impact: It may sound desperate
Instead, ask if they will refer or recommend you to anyone who is either:
In a position of influence
In the field you are pursuing
You want them to realize you don’t expect them to find a job for you, just open their network to you. They all have the capabilities of opening doors for you and you never know which one of those doors will end up in a job offer.
In return, ask what you can do for them. You can’t just reach out to your network asking for a favor, you must be willing to do what you can do for them as well. The more you GIVE in a networking relationship, the more you will receive.