Going at the job search alone is seen as normal. Too many people hesitate to solicit help from friends and loved ones, worrying that they’ll be judged at a time when they already feel vulnerable and down on their luck. However, a lot of good can come out of having a job search buddy, whether it’s a friend who is just interested in your well-being or someone else also looking for a job.
Every job seeker should strive to have a friend on their side throughout their search. Here are the best reasons why you should find yourself a job search buddy ASAP.
1. They can keep you accountable
There are times when every job seeker strays off the path of their search. After all, it can be a slog, and the temptation to give in to distractions can become difficult to avoid. This is where a job search buddy comes in. This person will keep you accountable to the goals you set out when you begin the job search buddy relationship, such as a number of applications per day or hours spent on the job search each week. When they see you’ve been slacking off on your goals, they will be there to set you back on the path with encouragement and advice. And when they see you’re killing it, they’ll be around to give you praise.
2. They’re a second set of eyes
Going at it alone, you can begin to rack up a ton of small mistakes that could hurt you big time. For example, you might fall into the trap of sending an awkward phrase or out of context sentence when trying to customize so many cover letters. That’s a lot of embarrassment and wasted time that you could avoid with a second set of eyes.
Eliminating the small mistakes in your job search will result in better applications and more interviews, but it’s tough to see them when you’re doing it alone, so get your buddy to check your work.
3. They can help you practice
The mirror can only help so much when it comes to interview practice. It can’t talk back, it won’t correct your phrasing, and it won’t give you feedback on answers, good or bad. You need another person listening on the other side and giving you their thoughts on how you tell your story, challenging you further with follow up questions, and acting as tough interviewers.
This practice will help you prepare and be less nervous when the time to interview comes around. You’ll develop a conversational style that emits confidence and expertise. Talking about yourself, your qualifications, and why you want to work at a company will become second nature to you.
4. They’re there when you need a boost
Rejection is tough, and it’s even more difficult if you have to cope with it yourself. The “thanks for your time” letter from a recruiter isn’t always enough to give you back the energy you just spent trying to work for a company you love.
A person who is there with you every step of the way but not directly involved in your job search has an advantage: they can see the bigger picture when all you may see is your most recent rejection. They can see how much you’ve learned, how much more refined your interviewing style is, and how much better a job seeker you’ve become, even though you didn’t get the job. And they will be there to remind you of this and give you the boost you need to get back to it!
5. Sharing your success
And you’ve finally landed the gig! It’s a sweet feeling that you want to share with everyone, but it will be different with your job search buddy. With them, it’s a shared, mutual achievement. You both had a huge role to play in your getting a new job, and now it’s time to celebrate, knowing that you’ve both learned a lot about each other and yourselves. And when it’s your buddy’s turn to be the job seeker, you will know exactly what they need from you as their job search buddy, and the cycle of success will continue.