Home > Career Development, Job Search > How to Help the Unemployed

How to Help the Unemployed

Many of us are nearby, if not related to, people that I prefer to term as “Free Agents.” That is, for one reason or another, they find themselves unemployed. In conversation with a client today, I realized that we seldom think about how we can assist them in their employment search. After all, if  you can’t provide them with a job lead or a killer networking contact, you can’t help them, right?


Here are some practical tips for being there . . .

  • Keep them in your social circle. Unemployment is not communicable and we all need interaction with others.
  • Ask for a copy of their resume. Look it over, learn more about them and what they have done. If you have good advice on how it’s written or how to use it, tell them.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open for any opportunity that may interest them, whether it’s an article in the Business Section of the paper, a sign in the lawn in front of a company or a blog you just read.
  • Provide a sympathetic and non-judgmental ear. Job search is tough sledding. They may just need a sounding board at times, not advice.
  • Maintain regular contact and follow up in a positive and supportive manner.
  • Never ask them, “Didn’t you find work YET?!”

Finally, be a friend. They need one now, more than ever!

  1. N
    April 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Another question not to ask is “How is the job search going?” I get asked that a lot, but I never know quite how to answer it. I might think things are going well and I’m doing all I can, but if the search was “really going well”, I would have gotten a job.

    • April 13, 2011 at 10:08 am

      A good addition. Probably well intentioned, but still frustrating. Thanks!

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