Once you have a professional network, you may assume that you can simply ask for a job and get exactly what you’re after. In reality, that isn’t how it typically works. If you don’t prime the proverbial pump, you’ll run into challenges. Additionally, if you don’t approach your request the right way, you likely won’t get great results.
In the end, using your network to find a job requires the right strategy. Here’s how you go about it.
Make Sure Your Relationships Are Strong
Before you even mention your desire for a new job, you need to make sure your relationships are strong. Other professionals are more likely to offer assistance if they like you. As a result, you’ll want to spend time connecting on points other than accessing opportunities to build up goodwill.
Request Insights or Advice as a Starting Point
Once the relationships are strong, you don’t want to begin by asking for a job. Instead, ask the person for insights or advice relating to your career or a potential job search. This keeps the beginning of the conversation on neutral – if not slightly flattering to them – territory. As a result, you can gauge their response and use it to determine if moving forward with a request is wise.
Discuss Your Interest in a Particular Role
After collecting insights, you can often tell if the person is willing and able to help with your job search. If so, you want to present some specifics about what you’re after. In most cases, it’s best to outline your skills and experience, relating them to the types of roles and duties that interest you and are suitable for your career. That gives your contact a baseline about what you’re after, allowing them to support your search.
Request a Job Referral If There’s an Opening
If there is an opening at a company that a member of your network is connected to, you can request a job referral. In this case, you want to ensure that they can easily say “yes” to your request but can also decline without having to be rude.
For example, let them know that you’re aware of an opening and ask if they’d be comfortable acting as a referrer. Then, accept their answer, whatever it may be, as pushing is typically viewed as unprofessional and disrespectful.
If they agree, give them a copy of your resume and schedule a time to discuss your capabilities. That way, they can present a little information about you with the referral, allowing them to help position you as a strong candidate.
Give as Good as Your Get Moving Forward
Once you request assistance with a job search, you need to ensure that you’re there for them should the need arise. While you don’t need to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, giving as good as you get keeps the relationship strong. It establishes a sense of balance, as reciprocity prevents one person from feeling taken advantage of or used. Plus, it helps you keep the relationship strong long-term, increasing the odds that they’ll be there for you when it’s time for your next job search.
If you’d like to learn more about successful networking or would like to connect with a recruiter to streamline your next job search, the staff at GSG Talent Solutions wants to hear from you. Contact us today.