You need to know how to use your professional network of contacts to find a job in today’s market. In this video, learn how to reach out to a networking contact, start a conversation with them, and ask for specific help. Also, learn how to use your overall network appropriately and effectively during your search.
- Your professional network will be instrumental to finding success as a job seeker. In fact, it's such common advice that I wouldn't be surprised if you wanted to tune me out right now. You've probably heard this stuff before. Something like 70% of job openings are never advertised publicly. They're filled through word of mouth. But bear with me because I'm not just going to spout the same age old wisdom in this video. Instead you'll get several concrete steps to engage your professional network as a key part of your job search. There are two tricky pieces to networking when you've been laid off. The first is how to actually use your network to your advantage without feeling like your abusing your relationships. The second is trying to tell people that you're searching, getting the word out about yourself. We're going to tackle both of these with specific actionable tips. Thankfully using your professional network as part of a job search doesn't mean begging people to help you get hired. There are so many things that people in your network can help you with. Things like informational interviews, about their company, department or job. Resume and cover letter advice and reviews, and advice on where to search for jobs and how long your job search might take, and mock connecting to people in your network who might be able to help you, and mock interviews to help you shake off the interview dust. I want to emphasize a really important point, professional networking is all about reciprocal relationships. When you're asking people to help you should also be offering to help each person if they should need it. So how do you tell your network that your job searching? After all you've been laid off and having a conversation about that doesn't sound like any fun. Email is the best way to handle your initial outreach, and then from there you'll schedule phone calls, or in-person meetings. First, start with the people you know really well, the ones that you're comfortable with. Ask them for specific help, such as their top two or three pieces of job search advice, to connect you with people they know at a specific company, or to review your resume and online profiles. A bit of humor about your current situation can help set the tone for your interactions and let that person know that you're in the right frame of mind to be successful. For people in your network who you don't well enough to crack a joke with your goal should be a short and to the point message. You might need to remind them of where you've met them before, then tell them you'd really value a bit of their help. Again, be specific about what you're asking them so they know how to respond to you. There's really no need to dwell on your lay off, what matters now is showing them that you're feeling ready to tackle a job search. You're confidence will make them more confident about helping you. And before we're done let's talk about when to contact the people in your network. This really depends on how well you know each person and what you'd like to ask them. For some folks having their support and input will be helpful right from the start of your job search. But for others you might not to contact them until you find a job opening at their company and want their insight. So evaluate each person before you reach out. Most job seekers can pretty easily draw the line between their first line of contacts and the ones that should wait until later. So to recap, first think about the best ways your network can help you so you'll know what you're going to ask people. Then, craft a plan to contact the people in your network starting with the ones you know really well and can be fairly casual with. This part is all about building confidence to take that next step, reaching out to contacts you don't very well with a specific request. And don't forget to offer your help along the way.
- Dealing with job loss
- Taking classes and building skills
- Volunteering to fill resume gaps
- Searching and applying for jobs
- Writing a better resume and cover letter
- Interviewing for your first job after a layoff