Find or Fill a Job with the Help of Former Coworkers

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Depending on where you get your statistics, the current unemployment rate in the United States is somewhere around 9 - 10%. If you're unemployed or underemployed, you're probably already trying every resource you can think of to find work. One potential job resource that is often overlooked can be found in your past - former coworkers.

Networking is one of the most-recommended methods of finding the right job, or any job, but many people don't think of former coworkers in their job search. A former coworker knows you, knows your work and your personality, and could become an invaluable insider to champion hiring you over other candidates. A recommendation from the right person can carry enormous weight, and may even make up for any deficiencies on your résumé or in your education background. When someone on the inside knows you can do the job - because you've done it elsewhere, and done it well - that can soothe worries of someone looking for a qualified employee for an open position. When you're responsible for finding a new employee, not having to worry about whether you're saddling the company with an unproductive person can really reduce your stress level.

The problem then becomes - how do you find your former coworkers? If you or they have moved, it could complicate the search enormously. There are online resources such as LinkedIn to help you reconnect with people from your professional past, but if they're not using LinkedIn, that won't help you any. Another tool to use is an online "people search." You can simply enter a name and location to find someone, or do a nationwide search to find those people who have moved out of state. Taking such initiative can also help motivate you, and possibly demonstrate a 'take charge' attitude that a potential employer may be looking for.

You may be on the other end of the employment equation. If your employer is searching for qualified help, you have a pool of people whose abilities you're already familiar with, and who you know you can get along with, in your former coworkers. Use a people search to find those favorite coworkers from your past to help your employer, and yourself. Many companies offer bonuses if you recommend someone they hire, and in these times, getting a bonus for taking the initiative at work is good for the bank account as well as your career.