Last week my CEO called me into his office to meet someone. Julie was a young professional who had just moved to the area and was looking for work. Before leaving the East Coast, she asked her circle of influence if they knew and could share 1-2 contacts in her new city. When Julie arrived, she immediately reached out to her new contacts and asked for 15 minutes of their time. One of those contacts was my boss.
After a brief conversation about the type of position she was seeking, I referred her to a few organizations and offered to make some introductions if she would send me her resume. She did... and I did. Within 5 days, she was interviewed and hired as an event manager for a major regional holiday celebration. Job search done!
There are so many wonderful job search databases on the market, but the absolute best job search database you could ever use- is your own network.
Julie did 3 important things that activated her network and made her job search a success: she asked for help, she followed through and she followed up.
Activate Your Network
1. Ask for help
Ask your network to provide 2-3 names with contact information of someone who would be of help with your job search. Keep the list small. It is easier for someone to come up with a few names rather than an entire list.
2. Follow through
It is not easy to contact someone you do not know, but you already have a foot in the door since you were referred by their best friend, fraternity brother, former boss, mentor, kid's soccer coach or mom. Send a simple email saying a mutual acquaintance recommended you contact them and ask for 10 minutes of time either by phone or in person. To ensure the email is opened, put the name of the individual who referred you in the subject area - Referred by John Smith.
3. Follow up
When someone makes a recommendation,suggestion or requests additional information, follow up immediately. The longer you wait, the colder the lead. That's why you need to have your job search documents in order and ready to go at all times. You never know when an opportunity will arise.
Finally, always send a Thank You note whenever someone takes time out of their day to help you and don't forget to pass it forward and connect someone to your own circle of influence.
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