Networking is the #1 way to land your next position. Point blank fact. I know you don’t like it. I know you think it’s hard. But do what’s hard, so your job search can be quick.
1 thing I have come to hate over my 19 years of supporting candidates, is when bad networking happens to good people. Yes, I’m talking to YOU!
Here’s an example of the bad networking
This is usually what’s inflicted on an otherwise innocent party: “It was really good to meet you (or connect with you online) earlier! I’m reaching out to my network because I’m strongly interested in finding my next role. I’m in operations. In case you know anybody I can contact, please let me know.”
Several things occur to me about this scenario:
1) Nowhere in there do I see that you (bad networker) care a lick about me (innocent bystander.)
2) It’s nice that you’re in operations. But what does that MEAN? If I need to think about it, then, news flash: I’m not going to.
3) Who do you mean, “anybody?” I know a LOT of anybodies. Shall I go through my Rolodex and figure this out? No. #justno
The curse of the bad network is that you’re asking vague questions. Therefore, you’re going to get vague (or worse yet: no) responses.
By the way, this is analogous to writing your resume using vague language. You know, to present that “consulting” gig you’ve been on for the last 6 months. It goes a little something like this:
“Currently offering technology advisory and consulting services to a broad base of clients across several market verticals. Manage projects, administer budgets, and deliver innovative solutions.”
That’s nice, except: what projects? For whom? When? And what, exactly, was innovative? That’s a resume that won’t get a response, I guarantee you.
Back to networking: if you want your networking to be less hard, and if you want it to actually be a successful vehicle that drives you through your job search and into your ideal role – sooner rather than later – then get specific about what you’re asking for.
(I also am aware you’re allergic to “specificity.” If you don’t “leave your options open” then you might miss out on something.) Ok, but I need you to stop thinking that. Get specific.
Here’s how to do it right:
“Jim! I hope you are having a great day! I am reaching out to my network because after 15 years as an Operations Manager at the factory level, I’ve decided to leverage my expertise into a Multi-Site Operations Director on a regional or national scale. I’d like to seek your help.
Here are a few job titles I’m seeing that mostly describe what I’m looking for:
Director of Operations
Operations Control Manager
Planning, Operations & Facilities Lead
And some of the organizations that look interesting to me are:
First Vehicle Services
Do you have a lead in any of those organizations at their Philadelphia, Trenton, or Wilmington locations? I’d appreciate it if you could share those or make an introduction. Thank you for giving this some thought for me. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me should I be able to help you also.”
Now, THAT’S a networking email that’s confident (not begging), drills down into what exactly it is that you do, ask for specific people at specific organizations, and shows that you care about the other person.
Now. Let’s kick things up a notch.
You’ve just learned how to talk to networking contacts. Let’s step it up so that you have the exact strategy to immediately talk to the recruiters and decision makers, in a way that immediately communicates your value AND prompts them to pick up the phone to call you. I’m going over what to do in my full online program, “5 Secret Job Search Hacks For The Age 50+ Job Hunter!” Register today so you get in on this limited-seating presentation.