“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady
So you might be asking yourself, what does this quote have to do with looking for a job, getting a job or even job searching and career tips?
It has everything to do with Networking. Most of my clients don’t like to network and conduct face to face let alone phone networking meetings. All of my introverted clients look at me with that look of “right Rebecca, I don’t think so; you are not going to get me to make that cold call.”
Have you ever heard of the Hidden Job Market? Well it is referring to the positions that are not posted on the “street,” they are hidden. Sometimes hiring managers don’t even let their HR departments know about them.
So if you want to find out about the Hidden Job Market and get a job in this economy you will have to PUSH YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Differentiate yourself. And how do we do this? Well one way is to conduct networking meetings. So below is something I have outlined for some of my clients. I hope this helps you too! Good luck.
ONE PLACE TO NETWORK IS AT Professional Association Meetings: Your only objective is to introduce yourself, learn about people that are attending the meetings and maybe talk to them about your job search. It would be helpful to have printed out business cards because you don’t want to give an 8.5×11 resume during cocktail hour at the American Marketing Association mixer, for example. Most importantly you want to talk and have some drinks and relax into the scene. All you have to talk about is the industry and what’s going on in the industry. That’s it. No big deal. Right, I know it’s a big deal and I even get nervous when I am alone at a networking function and I can talk to a pet rock. Before you exit the conversation, hand them a business card and ask them for a business card. Then if you are really interested and you want to conduct a future networking meeting with them, when you exit, just ask them if they would be willing to meet with you over the phone or in person (in the future, like next week or whenever their schedules permits a meeting) for about 20-30 minutes to talk about whatever it is you are interested in talking to them about.
It is so important to have an objective for your networking meeting. For example you could be networking to find out about Company information, cultural, salary, education and skills requirements of various positions at the company, etc.
First, if you have seen these people at the same monthly meetings then it will be a lot easier for you to ask for the meeting.
Second, if this is the first time you have seen and met them at the meeting then you don’t have to ask for a future meeting, unless you feel comfortable asking them for it. Just exchange cards and then follow up with him or her at the next meeting.
Other places to network: Church, Gym, Dentist and Doctor’s offices, with your CPA, The Peets or Starbucks line, your Safeway or Lucky’s checkers, family parties, etc.
WHY DO HIRING MANAGERS WANT TO MEET WITH YOU?
IT’s FREE they don’t have to pay a recruiter to find you
THEY pay employee referral fees
Paying it forward- karma
Some people like to please and want appreciation
Favor to a friend, sense of obligation, they trust you already –
Something in it for them – their own networking opportunities – to expand their network
They have an opening hidden job market opportunity, something is coming down the road, or they know the company needs your skillset and they will pass you on
DEFINE YOUR OBJECTIVE i.e.: gathering industry, company, info, or want to set a meeting with this person to review your list of companies that you want to work at, ,want to find out how their career path went or how they changed industries, find out info about the corporate culture, hiring practices, leadership.
HOW TO SCHEDULE THE NETWORKING MEETING AND WHAT TO DO NEXT:
CONTACT PERSON TO SCHEDULE MEETING face to face preferred
SCHEDULE THE NETWORKING MEETING – always book it in person first or over the phone second
SEND RESUME BEFORE MEETING HAPPENS
DURING THE MEETING
Be prepared to answer the question TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF?
ASK THEM QUESTIONS RELATED TO YOUR OBJECTIVE
Referrals – Ask them if they would be willing to refer you or sponsor you into the companies you are targeting or give you names and contact information.
FINAL STEP- a simple thank you will do but I would go a step further. Share information with them (“QUID PRO QUO” – Latin for “GIVE TO GET”) and let them know if there is anything you can do for them that you would be happy to.
Sample Networking Email
January 9, 2009
Dear Colleagues, Family and Friends,
I am going through a career transition and have conducted a lot of company and market research
to ensure a successful transition. I have completed my resume (see attached) and am targeting a couple of positions which are ……
The companies I am very interested in working for are listed below. I was hoping to ask you if you had any contacts in these companies or knew of anybody that did. If so, I would love to learn more about them so I can gain more information during this job search.
I would be happy to contact you at your convenience to discuss my job search in more detail. Please let me know what time and date works for you. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
I can be reached at…. If there is anything I can do for you please let me know.