job search and networking etiquette
February 29, 2012 11:52 PM   Subscribe

What is the etiquette for contacting a former (short-term) supervisor about new job leads?

I'm on the hunt for some new opportunities, and I have a contact with whom I worked until about February of last year. We worked together for about 5-6 months, and didn't really keep in touch very well at all since then. We got along well and he approved of my work (he was kind of a supervisor), so I think he would be a good contact and possibly a reference.

I'm wondering if it would be kosher to reach out to him to see if he has any leads at his company or elsewhere. If so, how do I approach him? Do I ask him to coffee, or just drop all pretense and ask him about job leads? Do I ask him to be a reference and hope he'll offer some info about positions? I don't want to offend anybody or make a wrong move.
posted by MsMartian to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Yes def ask him for leads. I would 'drop all pretense' but just write him an e-mail saying how nice it was to work for him, and that you're looking for a job right now that utilizes your skills appropriately. Does he mind serving as a reference for you? Also, attached is your resume, and if he knows of anyone who might be interested and has an appropriate job opening, you would love it if he would pass it on or let you know. You hope all is well with him. Best regards, You
posted by saraindc at 11:59 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just ask him. There's nothing wrong with this, it's totally normal. No need to do anything extra like have lunch.
posted by John Cohen at 5:41 AM on March 1, 2012

Thirding "just ask." Don't ask him out to coffee or anything; if someone asked me out to coffee to ask me for job leads, I would probably be a little miffed, because it's taking more of my time and seems disingenuous.

"I enjoyed working with you. I'm job hunting and wanted to know if you had any leads for the kind of work I'm interested in." Also ask permission to use him as a reference.
posted by The Deej at 5:54 AM on March 1, 2012

ask him about job leads? Do I ask him to be a reference and hope he'll offer some info about positions?

Yes, this is fine. Drop him an email, with your resume attached. Follow up with a phone call.
posted by sm1tten at 7:36 AM on March 1, 2012

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