How to network to find a job

How to network to find a job

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

How to network to find a job – job search networking is all about making connections with people. The people you want to contact are those who can either let you know about potential job openings or connect you with others who can tell you.

Networking means talking to everyone you know. This includes family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, previous employers and colleagues, people you play sport with, local business people, the family solicitor or accountant—everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know very many people. The people you do know might in turn know other people who have heard about a job opening.

Job search networking can be done at different levels. It can be a matter of having casual conversations with people you meet. Or you can make it an active and strategic campaign to contact people for ideas, suggestions and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy to help if they can. You have nothing to lose by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t be able to tell if the person has good information or knows about an upcoming job. If you do speak with them, you might just land that job, or hear about another that suits you better.

At worst you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But, being prepared will make the discussions easier.

How to Prepare For Job Search Networking

Make a list of all the people you know.

They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.

Prepare what you are going to say

You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. For example, say:
‘I’m looking for a role in training and development within the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation. [Government department] or [organisation name] would be the kind of place I’d like to work in. Would you know of any places, maybe smaller and more local, that might be looking for trainers?’

Contact the people on your list in a systematic way

Set yourself a goal—maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people, and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.

Ask them for job leads

To make it easy for people to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies at all for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that company that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.

Follow up contacts

Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.

Follow up leads

After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.

Networking wisdom

• Whenever you meet someone new, exchange business cards with them (or at least get one from your new contact, so you can send them your details).
• Show your appreciation for the help you receive by sending a thank-you note, or by telling your contact how their information helped you, even if it only led indirectly to a job prospect.
• Think laterally about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
• Get involved in a civic, social, religious or sporting organisation that interests you. As you meet new people in the organisation, they can become new network contacts.
• Join a professional organisation related to your field. The meetings or related events are good opportunities for you to network with people in your field.
• Think about online networking, in forums and in chat rooms.
• Record and organise all your network contacts—for example, on a spreadsheet or index cards. Write down what you found out from them, and any follow-up you should do. This will help you organise your time and monitor your progress.

Keep networking

Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society.

Life is full of surprises. You never know when you might need your network contacts’ help in another job search.

Social networking

Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are becoming increasingly important tools for both job seekers and employers. Learn how to use them – if you would like some help I can recommend a first rate social networking trainer

With thanks to Australia’s Myfuture website

If you would like further advice on this please get in touch at the link below.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

When you are interested in a job and someone refers you, you can mention that asking for a job referralin your covering letter.  It will mean you start ahead of the field.  Having a referral is having a recommendation.

When you identify a job you wish to apply for check your network for contacts with the right connections. LinkedIn is great for this. And, if you can find someone who already works for the company you wish to apply to that is great.

As well as LinkedIn, you can also use tools like BranchOut which is a Facebook app. It helps you find your friends at companies you are interested in. Search by company name and you’ll see a list of your Facebook friends at the company. Then, you can approach them to  see if they are willing to help.

You can approach contacts in a number of ways

  • An old-fashioned letter,
  • an email message,
  • Sending a message on a networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook or by, for example, Skype.

It is usually better to ask in writing rather than by phone. That means your contact has time to think about your request and how they can refer you. It is fair to give them the opportunity to refuse. And that is easier to do in writing

When you ask someone to refer you, you are not asking for a reference letter.  But, they do need to know something about you to refer with confidence.  You can ask “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?” Or, “Do you feel you could give me a referral?” That way, they have an out if they don’t feel comfortable. And, you can be assured that those who do refer you will be enthusiastic about your performance. They will write a positive letter or give you a strong endorsement.

You could always offer to provide an updated copy of your resume and information on your skills and experiences. This is so your contact has the right information to work with.

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no!

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no. There could be all kinds of reasons for their refusal and lots that have nothing to do with you.

But don’t feel diffident about making your request. People usually feel flattered to be asked. And if you are asked to make a referral, do your best to help. Though, don’t duck away from refusing if you don’t feel comfortable. Perhaps, you know the person they want to contact will not welcome the approach.

Remember, job search is about giving as well as getting, Build your network with generosity to others. That way you are likely to be remembered with kindness when you need help.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

How to network to find a job!

How to network to find a job!

How to network – job search networking is all about making connections with people. The people you want to contact are those who can either let you know about potential job openings or connect you with others who can tell you.

Networking means talking to everyone you know. This includes family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, previous employers and colleagues, people you play sport with, local business people, the family solicitor or accountant—everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know very many people. The people you do know might in turn know other people who have heard about a job opening.

Job search networking can be done at different levels. It can be a matter of having casual conversations with people you meet. Or you can make it an active and strategic campaign to contact people for ideas, suggestions and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy to help if they can. You have nothing to lose by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t be able to tell if the person has good information or knows about an upcoming job. If you do speak with them, you might just land that job, or hear about another that suits you better.

At worst you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But, being prepared will make the discussions easier.

How to Prepare For Job Search Networking

Make a list of all the people you know.

They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.

Prepare what you are going to say

You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. For example, say:
‘I’m looking for a role in training and development within the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation. [Government department] or [organisation name] would be the kind of place I’d like to work in. Would you know of any places, maybe smaller and more local, that might be looking for trainers?’

Contact the people on your list in a systematic way

Set yourself a goal—maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people, and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.

Ask them for job leads

To make it easy for people to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies at all for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that company that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.

Follow up contacts

Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.

Follow up leads

After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.

Networking wisdom

• Whenever you meet someone new, exchange business cards with them (or at least get one from your new contact, so you can send them your details).
• Show your appreciation for the help you receive by sending a thank-you note, or by telling your contact how their information helped you, even if it only led indirectly to a job prospect.
• Think laterally about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
• Get involved in a civic, social, religious or sporting organisation that interests you. As you meet new people in the organisation, they can become new network contacts.
• Join a professional organisation related to your field. The meetings or related events are good opportunities for you to network with people in your field.
• Think about online networking, in forums and in chat rooms.
• Record and organise all your network contacts—for example, on a spreadsheet or index cards. Write down what you found out from them, and any follow-up you should do. This will help you organise your time and monitor your progress.

Keep networking

Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society.

Life is full of surprises. You never know when you might need your network contacts’ help in another job search.

Social networking

Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are becoming increasingly important tools for both job seekers and employers. Learn how to use them – if you would like some help I can recommend a first rate social networking trainer

With thanks to Australia’s Myfuture website

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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  • Job Search:How to Negotiate Salary During a Job Offer
  • Job Search – Minding the Brand – Not Your Holiday Photo Please
  • Career Development – “Worst Case Scenario” – How To Handle Getting Fired

A Checklist For Your Personal Brand

Image via Wikipedia

September and a new term begins.  Time to reassess and refresh your personal brand!  The world sees your personal brand in all you do; it can work for you or against you.    

Sometime ago I posted a Checklist for your Personal Brand on Wisewolf Talking. Here is an updated version.

1. Do you have credibility? Are you an expert in your subject?  Do people believe you know what you are talking about?  Do the words you use reflect the latest thinking on your subject?  Do you write articles and blog posts on your specialist interest? Does your resume reflect the real depth of your experience – is it up to date?

2. Do you have an introductory piece – an ‘elevator speech?  Can you deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, plus the benefit it delivers, within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor?

3. Are you a convincing communicator? Do people believe what you say and act on your advice?  Why not do a market survey – choose three people you trust and ask them what they think!  If not, then read a book or take a class.

4. Do you dress for the job?  Do you know what the dress code is for your sector?  Do you follow it?  But what about off duty – if you met you boss in the supermarket, what impression would they get?  Think about what is appropriate to the situation – balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.

5. Do you know the etiquette for your organization and your sector?  How do people behave? What kind of business cards do people carry?  Be the one who follows up and says thank you after sector and professional events.

6. Do you know the people you need to impress?  Take time out to build your address book.  Collect business cards – make sure your card reflects your image properly!  Ask contacts for further introductions.  Use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find new people.

7. Do you nurture your network?  Do you work at nurturing your relationship with your contacts?  Do you show an active interest in them and genuinely care about them?  Ask how they are and what they are doing and mean it.  Remember things they tell you – note them down if you need to! People appreciate real attention but they know when you are being insincere.

8. What do you do with your spare time?  If you give something back to the community with voluntary work or help your local sports club – the news does get around!

Your personal brand is precious – it’s the “you” that the world sees and judges you by.  Nurture your brand and you will nurture your life and your career.

The Dangers of Social Media

Image via Wikipedia

I love social media – Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook etc.  Those I’ve tried, I love, most of the time!

Of course, I’m aware of the dangers and, yes, I have come unstuck before.  There are a number of us using Twitter who were taken in by a fraudster claiming to do good works.  I learned the hard way not to take people at gravatar value.

I know about the dangers of meeting up but by following the rules about first meetings in public, etc, I’ve met some smashing people and made some real friends.

But today I had my first really negative experience.  I realised the power of the medium and felt quite intimidated by it.

I received a series of what I considered to be fairly “spammy” messages from one particular network (not one of those named above).  I tried to unsubscribe from these particular messages but it wasn’t easy and for some reason it didn’t work.  In all honesty I don’t think the originator of the messages intended them to be anything but helpful and good natured.  But I was very tired of it.

So I sent off a fairly abrasive message and copied it to others. Next I get what I found a fairly sinister message from someone pointing out that by sending such a message I might be damaging my business.  Then I get other messages more or less raising questions about my professional judgement and credibility.

I was left feeling very threatened, realising that it wouldn’t be hard for a few words here and a few words there on social networks to be very damaging indeed.

I’ve taken my own actions to remedy this. And as I mention above I don’t think the writer of the original message meant to do anything but good.  However I am left chastened and wary.

There is huge power in these tools that we are beginning to take for granted.  I, for one, will be much more careful how I engage in future and I will certainly research any network I think of joining quite carefully before signing up.

And I think I need to remember another lesson or two, abrasive messages are much better not sent and, if you were foolish enough to send one, please don’t copy them to others!

 
I am Wendy Mason and I work as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger.  I have worked with many different kinds of people going through personal  and career change. If you would like my help, please email me at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439.  I will be very pleased to hear from you. I offer half an hour’s free telephone coaching to readers of this blog who quote WW1 – email me to arrange.

Job Search and the Internet – Using Social Media to Network

My last post promised that today I would deal with your online presence.

Those who have worked in particularly conservative parts of the public sector may find even the thought of having an online presence uncomfortable.  But in reality, you probably already have one.

If you put your name and your previous employer into Google or Yahoo, you might be surprised by what emerges.

I put Wendy Mason,Wisewolf (the name of my company) into Google five minutes ago and came up with 4,240 references in 0.17seconds.  But then I do work with social media (Blogs etc) so I’d have a problem if it wasn’t like that.  Your own presence should depend upon what you have done and what you aspire to! But it is much better to manage it yourself than just to let it happen.

First of all, I’m assuming you know the basics of using the internet.  In job search it is great for looking up potential employers and for research before job interviews. You can also sign up with various recruitment agencies on line and upoad your CV.  But I’m most interested in how you are going to use social media (LinkedIn, FacebookTwitter and the rest).  These are not just for the young, they are efficient and effective ways to stay in touch with a whole lot of people and to find new opportunities.

I going to stick to writing about LikedIn, Facebook and Twitter because they are the sites I believe most useful for Job Search for the UK candidates who make up most of my audience.  They are also the social media sties with which I have the greatest familiarity.

LinkedIn – this is the most significant professional networking site.  It has existed since 2002 and has over a 100 million users worldwide. It is a directory of individuals and companies and is used mainly for finding and keeping in contact with business contacts, former colleagues etc, job searching, hiring and company research.

You can join for free then you complete your profile. In doing so you can put in as much or as little information as you wish and you can decide how much of that information is public. For job search it helps if you complete your profile as fully as possible and make it  public.  But, of ocurse, with all social media, you should have regard to the dangers of identity theft and think very carefully before publishing a personal phone number, your birthday etc.

If you wish you can upgrade your account which brings extra facilities like the ability to send more messages.

What to include in your LinkedIn Profile when you are unemployed can be an issue. But you can make clear that you are “open to opportunities.”  This is important because LinkedIn is routinely searched by recruitment companies who are looking for good candidates to invite to apply for particular vacancies.

Once a member, you can join various groups – there are a number related to the public sector but please look beyond them. You can join and then take part in discussions, ask questions and provide answers – it all raises your profile and your credibility.

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service.  You write messages in 140 characters just like writing a text message on your phone. In fact many people send posts to Twitter from their phones.  You can write about anything and people and companies use it in a variety of ways, including to job search.

You join for free.  Users post updates on Twitter that are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them – followers.

I love Twitter (you can follow me as @WWiswolf).  When you are working at home alone on your job search it can provide that moment of light conversation and information that you found during breaks at the tea-point.

But Twitter is now also a serious tool in job-search because employers and recruiters post job openings.  Many job seekers now use Twitter to help their job search.

Somewhere on Twitter you will find like minds but you can also find lots of advice on Twitter about job search itself. Try following Alison Doyle

Facebook can be used for job search but it needs to be used with care. Facebook is most commonly used for staying in touch with family and close friends. You need to set your privacy options very carefully if you don’t want everything you post on Facebook to be seen by a prospective employer. Chance remarks on Facebook have already cost people job offers and have caused employees to be fired.  You can find some good advice on using Facebook for Job Search again from Alison Doyle at this link

Using social media in your job search needs to be part of you overall networking strategy.  Remember that it is likely that everything you post on the net could found by potential employers if you don’t make it private, so keep the messages and your profile consistent.  But I don’t think any serious job seeker today should ignore the help that social media can provide.

If you have any questions or need any help, please get in touch – I do provide a telephone coaching service in social media if it might be useful to you.  In any case I will be very interested to hear about your experiences on line!

Next week, I’m going to start working with you on your CV

Related articles

  • Job Searching on Social Networks (jobcontax.wordpress.com)
  • Job Seekers: Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes on LinkedIn(millerlittlejohnmedia.com)
  • Bashful Britons Shy Of Using LinkedIn And Facebook To Look For Work (blazingminds.co.uk)
  • Why you need to network! (leavingthepublicsector.blogspot.com)

 Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439

You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftallking.com