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How to Ask an Acquaintance for a Job

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Looking for a job is often difficult and stressful. It’s not always easy to find a job even in a thriving economy; however, if society is facing a declining economy, finding a job may be near-impossible. Job seekers utilize every advantage they have, including asking acquaintances for a job. Networking is highly valued in the business world. However, it can get tricky when you’re requesting a position from someone who’s a friend.

Approach the topic professionally. Speak to your friend as you would any manager by thinking of how you would act if you were on a job interview. It’s not always necessary to dress up, if you know ahead of time you’re going to broach this sensitive topic, but you should act as a professional and treat your friend as a professional as well. You don’t want your friend to feel like you’re asking for a favor, but instead that you’re qualified for the job and would be a good candidate for the position.

Show that you know the industry you’re applying for. If necessary, do some research on the business and the industry before speaking with your friend. For example, if your friend is a restaurateur, look into the history of the restaurant she works for as well as the food service industry in the geographical area of the restaurant.

Give your friend your resume, detailing your experience and qualifications. If your friend isn’t the manager of the company you want to apply for, you should also send the manager a copy of your resume.

Interview with the manager of the company. Act as you would in any other interview -- highlight your business experience and traits that make you a good fit for the position. Also, don’t overplay your friendship with an employee. Mention that you know someone who works for the company and that you were referred by them, but keep it at that.

Ask to be kept in mind for future job opportunities if the job you’re after is no longer available or if you’re simply not right for the position.

Thank your acquaintance for taking the time to discuss job opportunities with you. Whether you’ll be interviewing for the job or not, you should always act gracious. This keeps you in the forefront of your friend’s mind should there ever be an opportunity available for you at the company. Also, you want to make sure to not ruin a friendship over business.


As a full-time writer in New York's Hudson Valley, Lindsay Pietroluongo's nightlife column and photos have appeared regularly in the "Poughkeepsie Journal" since 2007. Additional publications include "Chronogram," the "New Paltz Sojourn," "About Town" newspaper and "Outsider" magazine. Pietroluongo graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English.