Figure Out Who You Need to Know
“Use your network to find your next job.” It’s sound advice, but some job seekers implement it better than others. If you’re the type who fires off a group email to let your network know that you’re on the hunt and ask for help, pay close attention to this episode!
Unfortunately, sending that group email is an incredibly unreliable way to capture the attention of the very person who can advance your search efforts. Why?
Because you’ve put the bulk of the work on their shoulders—you’ve asked your network not only to rack their brains for openings they might know of, but also to do the legwork of pairing you with the right person to talk to. The kicker? Since it’s a group email, each recipient could assume that someone else on the list might be able to help you out, leaving you without any leads whatsoever.
Folks, here’s the deal. Effectively using your network to land a job takes more than broadcasting to the world that you’re looking for something new and waiting for the chips to fall. Landing interviews with your dream companies takes strategy (and a little grunt work).
Size up your network. Do you have contacts across different industries? Are your connections of various career levels? Do you belong to any free or paid networking groups on- or offline? From there, create networking maps for each company on your big and small fish lists (use LinkedIn and company websites to perform your research). Outline the following details.
● Names of people with similar job titles as you/on the same rung you’d been on
● Names of key figures at the company (think one or two notches higher on the totem pole)
● Names of your first degree contacts who can introduce you to all of these people
From here, annotate your list. Where are these people most active online? Do they have a blog? Have they been published? Are they tweeters, or do they strictly post to LinkedIn?
And if you can’t seem to figure out who your potential boss or the people who can lead you to him/her might be, hop on the phone. Call the company’s main number and say, “I have a question about [function/area], can you put me in touch with the head of that department?” More often than not, they’ll point you to the right person or the person who can.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re not looking to actually contact hiring managers or HR reps at this stage. They hear from job seekers all day—you’d be just another voice in the crowd. The idea is to leverage and build relationships that lead you to that interview step, because being referred from someone on the inside is your fast track to that conversation.
In Lesson 5, we’ll talk about how to warm up your network and relationships with cold contacts. You’ll be surprised by how much of an impact a few small actions can make on convincing people to help you out!
See your there,
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