We all know that networking is important. Developing and cultivating our network give us more power, more opportunities and more credibility. That’s a given.
But how do you do that exactly? How do you create your network, starting with the first person?
I mean there are tons of articles out there that tell you how you can use your network to land a job, how you are more likely to find a job if you know the right person…but they never tell you exactly how you can get in touch with those people and develop a relationship with them.
In this article I am going to show you exactly how you can start networking and get the job you’ve always wanted. You will also find 2 email scripts so you know exactly what to say to the person you want to get in touch with.
And as I know that some of you may be uncomfortable when speaking with someone they don’t know, I included this excellent article How to Network: 12 tips for shy people.
So enough with the talking now, here is exactly how you can get in touch with someone, get a recommendation and land the job of your dream without looking pushy.
The first thing you have to understand is that networking is not something you do only when you look for a job. I see the error too often and it goes like this:
“I need to get a new job rapidly so I am going to cold email some people I don’t know in my industry. I could write something like: Hey my name is X I work at Y and I would like to know if you had a job for me in your company. Please let me know rapidly I am a bit desperate!”
Ok maybe I exaggerate a little bit but that’s what most people basically write in their emails when they look for a job. So if you do that you are wrong! Why? Because the guy to whom you send the request don’t know you! Why would he/she help you? To him/her you are just an annoying guy who contacts him/her for something that requires time. Just think about it for a moment!
Imagine being in the shoes of the person to whom you send the email. You have a busy week and receive an email from someone you don’t know and who seems to take you into consideration only because you might allow him/her to get a job. How does it sound to you? Bad or even rude I guess!
Sending an email and asking something right away is not networking! Networking is a long-term process that involves developing a real relationship with someone FIRST. The request goes after!
A great way to develop a relationship is to use an informational interview. To do so you need to follow these 6 steps:
- Reach through a warm contact using the email address of the person.
- In the email explain similarities
- Reach the person with a brief and concise email
- Meet him/her and ask insightful questions about the job of the person.
- Don’t outright asked for a job
How to reach someone with an effective email
So now that you know the important points I want you to do this:
Find 10 people you would like to connect with (people who have a job title you are interested in learning more about, people who work in a company you are interested in potentially working at)
Get their email address. I explain how to do that in this article:
Once you have the email address of the person use these scripts:
Subject: University of Michigan grad – would love to chat about your work at Sony
My name is Mark Kelson. I am a ’04 grad from the University of Michigan and I came across your name when I visited the Sony Pictures Entertainment profile on LinkedIn. (Tell them how you came across their name so you don’t seem like a creep. You may have come across them on LinkedIn, via the alumni network of your school, during a conference you attended…)
I would love to get your career advice for 15-20 minutes. I’m currently working at Franklin & Fragel Company. Every time some of my friends, who work for entertainment companies, talk about their job, I get more interested. (At this point tell them what you want. Most people are flattered that people want their advice).
Most of them told me that if I’m interested in the entertainment field, I have to talk to someone at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Do you think I could pick your brain on your job and what motivated you to choose Sony? (The phrase “pick your brain” is one of the best ways to ask for advice and flatter).
I can meet you for coffee, at your office or even schedule Skype call…or whatever it’s convenient for you. I can work around you! (Show that you’re flexible and that you do want to meet him/her at all costs).
Would it be possible for us to meet? (Make it as easy as possible for the person you want to reach. Saying YES in this case would take him/her one second. Also don’t ask about the time and location in the first email)
As you can notice you are not asking for job but for a meeting to know more about the job of the person. That’s important because it shows that you take that person into consideration.
If you want to land a job you will need then to do a follow up.
How to follow up to get a job?
Let’s say that you just saw that Sony Pictures Entertainment was hiring. Instead of cold emailing or cold calling (like everybody do) you now can stand out and email the person you contacted in the first place to ask him for a recommendation.
Here is what it would look like:
Hope all is well.
If you recall, we spoke a few months ago when I was exploring new career opportunities in the entertainment field. (Remind the person how you know each other).
I was browsing the hiring page of Sony Pictures Entertainment the other day and the technical coordinator caught my eye. I think it’d be perfect for me considering my experience at Franklin & Fragel Company. (As you can see we are not asking for job but for a recommendation).
From what I remember, it sounds pretty similar to the work you do at Sony. By any chance, do you know of anyone there that you think I should chat with? I’d love to lean more about the role so I can see if it’s the right fit for me.
If not, no problem, I just wanted to keep you in the loop. Thanks again for all your help!
You see that you are not pushy at all, and even friendly. No doubt that with that kind of email George will choose to help you over other cold callers!
I hope I helped you to see clearer. You have now both the technic and the scripts, you don’t have any excuses to successfully land the job of your dream!
Let me know what you think about that technic, I read and answer every comment!
Now for the almost illegal app that will give you an unfair advantage:
I know how difficult it’s sometimes to get the contact information of someone so I have this great app for you. It’s called Sellhack and it allows you to miraculously get the email address of any person who is a LinkedIn member.