Is there a fresh graduate in your life right now? This could come in the form of a friend who is looking to pick your mind about the highs and lows of the working life, a family member or relative who is still in the celebratory mood after concluding his or her college career, or a deserving acquaintance who asked for your help. Having said that, you, as a friend, sister, brother, or uncle, or, may aim to help this new graduate by reaching out to your network. Being helpful (a “bayanihan” spirit in the simplest and biggest of ways) and resourceful (our “Filipino ingenuity” helps us find creative ways of using what we have to solve our problems) is a very Filipino thing. So yes, it’s safe to assume you’ll help out in any way you can, just because it can be considered second nature.
1. Don’t ask for a job
What you can ask for: Where to look for a job
What would be better to ask is where your highly capable fresh graduate should start his job search. This gives you the opportunity to highlight his strong suits, and at the same time, receive useful job leads to share. For your contact, it does not give him pressure to find your fresh graduate a job. Coming from a place of generosity makes a person more inclined to help.
2. Don’t ask for a meeting
Setting a lunch meeting with a highly regarded contact to catch up not on industry matters but to get a new graduate’s career traction? Sounds like an iffy proposition.
What you can ask for: Your contact’s email address
Check with your contact if his or her email address can be shared to a fresh grad who would like to learn more about the industry. Again, asking gives her the option to say “yes” or “no.” Be in touch with the fresh grad by asking him to send a copy of the questions he or she would like to know and to request that you be CC’d in the email.
3. Don’t ask for a resume review
Do not attempt to request a resume review for contacts who are not involved in talent acquisition. These folks may not be able to provide the necessary expertise in resume polishing.
What you can ask for: Industry-specific tips
The best thing to ask for are best practices in your contact’s industry. For instance, how can the fresh graduate cater his resume to highlight needed competencies for the job opening in your contact’s company? What are the essential skill sets that HR may value in a new hire?
The key takeaway? For people who are willing to lend a helping hand, it’s not only about who you know that counts, but also about what kind of questions to ask and how you ask them to your network contacts when it comes to giving assistance to fresh graduates.