Join Valerie Sutton for an in-depth discussion in this video Utilizing your existing network, part of Job Search Strategies.
Current contacts are an invaluable resource. How you approach these contacts will depend on whether you are doing a confidential search or currently unemployed. However, there are some best practices in leveraging your contacts. First, to make this less overwhelming, you will want to review your contacts and make a thorough list of those that you think may be helpful in your job search. Second and the most valuable tip is to prioritize your relationships. You want to approach stronger relationships first.
Strong relationships will open doors to introductions, knowledge, and opportunities. Third, set goals for reaching out. It is one of the more overwhelming pieces of the job search, and so by setting small goals of at least one contact a week will get you started on this process and build your confidence. Fourth, be able to articulate exactly what you want from your contacts. You should be able to describe to them the skills, knowledge, and qualifications you bring.
You should also convey your preferred work culture and any lifestyle considerations that you have. This will allow them to connect you to the right people and point out appropriate opportunities. If you are unclear of your needs, you may want to consider creating a career profile. Fifth, remember be clear and concise. You should know if you are asking for a referral, an opinion, or to get exact job leads of unpublished positions. You want to respect their time and also give them a way to help you quickly.
Be open to their advice, even if it doesn't fit your request exactly. Their knowledge in the field can be invaluable to gaining the next opportunity. Finally, follow-up is key to maintaining these relationships. Follow up with any of the leads that they give you immediately, and let them know that you have done so. Also, send them a thank you note for their time. Even if you know them well, it is appreciated, and they're more likely to help you in the future.
You should now be able to confidently approach your current contacts. But, what if you need to approach people you don't know? We'll take a look at this in the next movie.
Along the way, discover smart strategies to match your interests with your search and manage your time in order to maximize results.
- Valerie's top five job search tips
- Determining which online job boards to use
- Posting your resume online
- Maximizing the impact of your profile
- Improving your visibility with a blog, workshop, or conferences
- Leveraging your network
- Establishing relationships with recruiters