At FlashPoint, we work with some clients to provide career transition coaching to outplaced employees. We always encourage these individuals to use their networks to help them identify job opportunities. After all, most people find jobs not through ads but rather because of a personal connection. Some sources say that up to 75 percent of jobs are filled as a result of networking.
One tip I’ve begun to share focuses on improving the networking experience. The idea comes from an acquaintance who was herself looking for a job a couple of years ago.
As she was beginning her search, this acquaintance e-mailed me and others. She asked if we’d serve on her job search network. The purpose, she said, was to e-mail us regularly with updates on where she had applied and was interviewing, as well as to ask us for help in connecting with people at companies she was interested in.
She did what she promised. Every week or two she’d send the group a brief message outlining her activities. It was a great way to ensure we kept her in mind. (How often do we promise others to our eyes peeled for job opportunities, only to forget about it amid our work demands?)
Eventually the acquaintance got an interview at a company where I knew the HR director, and I e-mailed the director with a recommendation. I’m not sure that my input had any sway, but the acquaintance did get the job–just three months after her search began.
The key in all this is to think of creative ways to leverage your connections. Using e-mail, social media, and other technology to communicate effectively, make an impression, and stand apart from the crowd is important, and as this example shows, it often pays off.
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