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How to Refer Someone for a Job

"JT & Dale Talk Jobs" is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com. J.T.: We're always looking for the chance to bring outside experts into our discussions. Today we get to hear from Al O'Connor, who has spent decades in recruiting and outplacement, much of that time coaching job hunters. Dale: We sought Al's advice on getting and giving help with job hunting. AL: Whenever I hear from someone out of work, I try to help — I believe what you do to help comes back to you. But there are people who are hard to help, and people who are easy to help. Today, for instance, I heard from a former co-worker who didn't just send her resume, but also outlined her background and gave me a clear picture of what she wanted to do via two lists: "Here's What I've Done" and "Here's What I Could Accomplish." Dale: Most people want to help job hunters but don't know how, so it's up to job hunters to set up their friends to succeed by asking questions they can answer. Usually that's by offering a list of target companies and asking for possible connections, but here, by listing specific accomplishments and goals within a given job type, someone as connected as Al was able to easily identify relevant contacts. AL: I passed her resume on to four people. I sent a note saying: "This is somebody you should know. I hope you don't mind, but I told her to call you." J.T.: Beautiful phrasing, making it clear to the recipients they should meet with her, whether or not they have a job opening — it's in their self-interest. And notice Al also set up the job hunter to take over and make the calls, not having to wait on him. AL: My goal is not just to help the job hunter, but to help the colleague I'm introducing her to — do it right, and I can help both people. Dale: Well said. Helping someone hunt for a job, when done properly, isn't about being pushy. It's about being useful, and your colleagues will feel the difference. J.T.: And in the new economy, where every job is temporary, we all are going to need help. It's wise to build career karma every chance you get. JTandDale.com LogoJeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of the career consulting firm, JTODonnell.com and of the job search blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com. Please visit them at JTandDale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc. Two business men having discussion image from Shutterstock