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NextGen Magazine


When Asking a Favor of a Networking Contact, Ditch the Subtlety, Be Direct

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 30, 2017

While it may seem uncouth, when reaching out to networking contacts to ask for a favor, an article in Quartz suggests, well, just asking for the favor. Too many people try to go about things in a roundabout way, suggesting and hinting at what it is they want from the other person, something that rarely gets the results you want. This is because, and this might be shocking, people are not mind readers. Being vague is just a way to ask for something without seeming like you're asking for something, which really doesn't get anyone anywhere. Rather than say "So, I just applied to a job at your company!" and hope they get the hint, say what you really mean: "Could you please put in a good word for me?" If that feels too uncomfortable, it might be a sign you need a new contact. If you don't want to seem presumptuous (for instance, if you only met this person once at a networking function), try to find a suitable framing that acknowledges that they may not want to help. Overall, though, remember to be specific about what it is you want from this person.