The post I wrote yesterday says that now is the perfect time to network (it really is!). Easier said than done, right? Well Harry Urschel is here to save the day! His useful post on what to say when inviting someone to network will be perfect advice for every jobseeker. He has too many great points to summarize here, but I’ll do my best.

First of all, do NOT ask them if they know of a job for you; putting them on the spot will be discouraging and they’ll probably say no. Instead, lead with questions like: “’Do you know of anyone else with a background similar to mine?’” or “’Who do you know at XYZ Company?’”

Make it your goal to speak with as many people as possible. Ask them to refer you to someone else who you could talk to, but don’t flat out ask them for a job. Urschel also says that it’s important not to trash talk your old job or admit why you’re struggling finding a job (don’t make excuses, and don’t admit your weaknesses) — networking is all about meeting people who can help you in the future.