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Networking for Job Leads

Lesson 12 Module 5

Networking Finds Hidden Jobs and More

Networking to find job opportunities is one of the most effective ways to find a new job. Some people find it intimidating and a bit scary, but it doesn't have to be if done correctly and methodically. 

Jobvite's 2019 Job Seeker Nation Survey reports that 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, while 37% say they also learn about jobs from professional networks.

Ideas for networking include beginning with your closest professional contacts who would be in a position to know about potential job opportunities, or who can refer you to people who may know of job opportunities. This includes current or prior work colleagues, professional associates, college professors and alumni. 

Getting New Networking Contacts Through LinkedIn

Finding names beyond your closest contacts and the names they provide you (see how below) is easier today than ever before. The goto place is LinkedIn. These reasons are obvious as outlined in the earlier lessons about LinkedIn in this course.

Use LinkedIn to search for target companies and influential people within those companies. Send a LinkedIn request to connect at the first level. As of this writing, LinkedIn prefers that you limit your daily requests to about 50.

Use short, personalized connection requests for LinkedIn. First become connected, then move to a reply message that asks for an informational interview, or you can just simply ask a good question about them or their company.

A good rule of thumb when writing to a potential networking contact is to use softer words, not demanding language. Words like 'believe', 'possibly', 'potential', 'maybe', 'wondering', 'hoping', etc. Notice how I used these and other similar words in the following examples.

Click the + below for examples to  begin a conversation with a potential contact.

LinkedIn Connection and Reply Templates

Click on each topic below for details.

Connection Request Template

Hi [First Name],

I'd love to connect. Looks like we probably have [something about them you have in common].

Kindest Regards,

[Your first name]

Reply Template After Connection Accepted

Hi [First Name],

I noticed [something about the company you'd like to know more about, something about the industry, something about them, something about their product] and found that very interesting. I was wondering [now ask ONE insightful question about that].

Love to hear more about it if you possibly could spare a couple of minutes to respond.

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

Request Informational Interview Template

Hi [First Name],

I found your answer about [what was asked and discussed in the prior message]. Thanks for taking time to respond.

I'm currently exploring a new career opportunity and wondered if you might be open to spend 10 minutes or so on the phone? I'm not presuming that you're hiring for someone like me, but given your background and experience, I was hoping to get your advice and perspective about [something you feel might be relevant where they could provide you with advice and direction].

Could we set up a brief chat someday soon? I'll make myself available to best fit your busy schedule.

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

Some Alternative Message Templates

Hi [First Name]

I'm looking for some information from [industry name] leaders around how they do [insert subject/topic]. Would you be able to contribute?

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

-----------------

Hi [First Name],

I've recently worked on [project, or something that might be of interest]. I noticed your profile and I wondered if that is something might find of professional interest? If so, I'd be happy to jump on the phone for a quick chat and maybe send you some information.

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

More Message Templates

Hi [First Name],

Your name came up as suggestion on LinkedIn today as someone I should connect with. I've had a look at your profile and think we may have [some things in common].

Would you possibly be open to connect here on LinkedIn?

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

---------------------

Hi [First Name],

I noticed we're both part of the [insert name of group] group. That's where I noticed your profile and wondered if you'd be open to connect?

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

---------------------

Hi [First Name],

[I noticed today you viewed my profile] OR [Thank you for viewing my profile today]. I'd love to know what your company is currently doing/using for [insert product/solution]?

Kindest Regards,

[Your First Name]

Conducting Informational Interviews

One ideal way to is use an informational interview to collect information about a specific job opportunity you may know about, virtually connect with and meet influential people, learn about events within your career field, your industry or details about a specific company.

An informational interview is not intended to be a job interview. Occasionally it may morph into a job interview, but doesn't begin that way. This style of interview is less stressful for both you and the employer than a typical job interview. You are the one in control. You can discuss what is done on a day-to-day basis and relate it to your own interests and feelings. Beyond the advantages of gaining valuable career information.

Most of the time in today's digital world the informational interview will be via phone, although it can be in person.

Keep in mind that you are requesting valuable time from the person you're speaking with, so be respectful and treat it as a business appointment and always be professional.

Focus on questions that go beyond what you can easily find on the person's LinkedIn profile or their company website.

Find out about their personal career history including how they found themselves in their current position, what their day-to-day responsibilities are like and for tips they might offer for your current circumstances.

Be open about your job search and ask for referrals who could be potential employers, or influencers within your career field. Ask about this way, "based on our discussion, who do you know that I should network further with? Not necessarily someone who you know if hiring now, but someone who is considered an influencer in this field."

When you receive referral ames always follow-up by asking, "“If I decide to talk with them, can I say I was speaking with you?” This turns your approach to their referral into more of a 'warm lead.'

Your goal is to ALWAYS get additional names for networking purposes. Warm leads are likely to more productive.

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Learn More About a LinkedIn Profile Makeover - Become SWK

When your LinkedIn profile presents you as SWK - someone worth knowing, your networking success will improve dramatically. The best way to become SWK is to elevate your professional online presence with an expertly written LinkedIn profile.

Keep in mind that 122 million people got an interview through LinkedIn in 2019. With more than 660 million LinkedIn members worldwide, having a profile that stands out is essential to your job-search success.

Even if you're not in a current job seeking mode, your resume should present you as SWK. Click the button below to learn more. 

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