The Benefits of Having a Professional Mentor for Your Job Search (Infographic)
You may have heard people mention that you should seek out professional mentors. Maybe you’re asking yourself “what exactly is a professional mentor, and are they beneficial to the job search?” A professional mentor can be a valuable asset to elevate your job search and network within your industry.
One major benefit of having a professional mentor is that you gain a job search accountability partner. Discussing your job search with a trusted source will keep you accountable for your own work and make sure you’re on the right track with where and how you’re applying.
A mentor will be able to offer you new perspectives in the job search as well as provide unbiased and constructive feedback to help you portray yourself as the best candidate in the business. A mentor will often review your resume, coach you on interviews, and share personal insight on how to be an effective leader in your field.
Now, this all sounds great, but how does one go about finding a professional mentor or coach?
How to Find a Professional Mentor for Your Job Search
One of the best ways to connect is through networking. Do some research on LinkedIn, reach out to your alumni association and past professors, and/or attend local (or digital) networking events. In all of these avenues, go in with the mindset of finding someone who not only shares your same goals and aspirations but is also living them. You want to ensure that your future mentor is someone who is both knowledgeable in your desired field and willing to help coach you.
Once you find a suitable mentor, reach out to them! Send them an email or LinkedIn message introducing yourself and explain why you are reaching out. Make sure that you are thoughtful, tactical, and brief so that they are more inclined to respond to you. (For some additional tips on how to reach out to a mentor and request an informational interview with them, check out this sister blog post to get started.)
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Meeting and Following Up with Your Professional Mentor
During your first informational interview with your potential mentor, whether it is in-person or over the phone, make sure that you ask thought-provoking questions while also having an open mind to any words of advice they may have for you. Try and see if they have any network connections that may help you put a foot in the door of somewhere you want to work.
Also, try and schedule a consistent meeting time with them — whether that is weekly, biweekly, monthly, or otherwise. This is the best way to maintain that accountability aspect and ensure that you become the best job candidate you can be.
It is important to note that even once you land a job, you should still stay in touch with your mentor. Your mentor will most likely still be able to supply some insights and feedback to help you continually grow professionally.
On that same note, there is never a “wrong” time to find a mentor. Mentors can be of equal service to you even when you are further along in your career. They can help build your confidence and provide guidance for a future career move, or help you transition into a new field. Whatever the case may be, a professional mentor is a great tool to have in your job search and your career as a whole.