When you’re actively looking for a new gig, you already know that it’s smart to lean on your network. After all, the more people you have in your corner, the better.
But, here’s the thing: There’s also a little bit of shame that comes along with that approach.
Not only do you need to openly admit that you’re on the hunt for something new (which is extra embarrassing if your last job didn’t end on great terms), but you also need to throw yourself on the mercy of the people in your professional circle and ask them for help.
I get it—as important and beneficial as these sorts of requests ultimately are, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy to make.
So, to take some of the palm sweat out of the situation, I’ve pulled together four different email templates you can use to let different people in your network know that you’re currently open to new opportunities.
Email #1: Someone You Used to Work Closely With
Perhaps it’s your supervisor from your college internship. Or, maybe it’s your favorite colleague from one of your previous jobs. Either way, nobody knows your skills and preferences better than the people you used to work side-by-side with—meaning they can be a huge help in your job search.
I hope you’re having a great week! I’ve been keeping up with you on LinkedIn, and it looks like things are going awesome with [job or professional interest].
I’m getting in touch to let you know that I’m currently searching for a new opportunity in [industry]. With my background in [field] and skills in [area], my ideal position involves [detailed description of ideal job] for an employer who [detailed description of ideal company].
Since we used to work so closely and I know you’re so well-connected, I’d love if you could let me know if you hear of any opportunities that you think I’d be a good fit for. I’ve attached my resume to this email, just in case that helps.
Of course, I’m always willing to return the favor if you ever need.
Thanks so much, [Name]! I have so many fond memories of our time together at [Company], and I hope things are even better for you since then.
Email #2: Someone Who Works in Your Desired Industry
Sending a note to someone who is already employed in the field you’re eager to be a part of is always helpful, but especially when you’re making a career change. Chances are good that he or she is connected to other people in the industry—some of whom might even be hiring.
I hope you’re doing well!
I’m reaching out to let you know that I’ve decided to make a career change. Thus, I’m currently exploring different opportunities in [industry].
Since I know you’ve worked in the industry for quite a while, I thought you’d be the perfect person to get in touch with. If you become aware of any open roles that might be a good fit for someone with a background in [field], skills in [area], and a desire to learn, I’d love if you could give me a heads up. You can also find my resume attached to this email to get a better understanding of what I bring to the table.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate any help as I work on making this switch.
Thanks so much, [Name]!
All the best,
Email #3: Someone You’re Hoping Will Make an Intro
You’ve identified someone that you know could be a huge asset to you in your job search. The only problem? You don’t know him or her yourself. Fortunately, someone in your own network is connected to that person—and you’re hoping you can get introduced.
I hope things have been going great for you!
I’m touching base today with a request. I’m currently pursuing new jobs in [industry] and am actively working on making more connections within this field.
I noticed that you know [Name], and I was hoping that you’d be willing to connect me with [him/her]. As I’m sure you know [Name] has a ton of great insights into my area of interest, and I’d love to get connected so that I could ask [him/her] a few questions about the industry and [his/her] experience in general.
Would you be willing to send a brief email introducing the two of us? I’d appreciate that so much.
Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions, [Name].
Thanks for your consideration!
Email #4: Anyone Else
Then there’s everybody else in your network—the acquaintances that you’re somewhat in touch with, yet don’t fall into any of the categories above.
Rest assured, it can still be worth updating them on your job hunt (provided it’s not a totally out-of-the-blue message to somebody you’ve never actually met or interacted with). The more people you have keeping the ear to the ground, the better your search for a new position will go.
I hope things have been awesome!
I’m jotting you a quick note to let you know that I’m currently searching for a new career opportunity in [desired industry]. With my background in [area], I’m ideally looking for a [type of position] role with an employer who [describe ideal employer]. For a greater understanding of my professional qualifications, you can find my resume attached to this email.
If you hear of anything within your own network that you think might fit the bill, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way.
Let me know if I can ever return the favor, [Name]. I’m happy to do so!
Enlisting the help of your network in your job search can feel a little awkward. However, your professional contacts can also be a huge benefit—meaning it’s worth it to swallow your pride, send that note, and ask for a little bit of assistance. And fortunately, these email templates make that a whole lot easier.
Just remember to return the favor when the opportunity presents itself!
Photo of person working at home courtesy of JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images.
Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) they love. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author