You know that the best way to get a job today is to network with other business professionals. But asking your former bosses and co-workers, “Help me get a job” is not the right way to network.
To convince your business contacts that they should help you in your job search, you’ll have to prove to them that you have the talent, skill, and creativity to thrive at your new job.
The Right Way to Network
Look at it from the point of view of your business contacts: They don’t want to get burned by recommending you to their own contacts. And they don’t want to look foolish after they clue you in to a job opening that hasn’t yet hit the online employment websites or the newspaper classified sections.
And foolish is how they’ll look if, thanks to their help, you land a new job and then underperform.
Your contacts want to recommend potential employees that are hard-working, industrious, and creative. If you don’t convince the members of your networking sphere that you are indeed all of these things, don’t expect them to help you in your efforts to find a job.
Promoting Yourself to Your Business Contacts
So, how do you convince your business contacts that you are worthy of their job search help? The same way that you convince potential employers to hire you during a job interview; you sell yourself.
Start by reminding your networking contacts of the achievements you’ve reached during your career. If you rose to a high-level manager status at your last job in record time, tell your contacts. If you developed an advertising campaign that helped your past employer sell 25 percent more widgets, tell your networking sources. If you managed, by finding a new provider of paper and other office supplies, to save your past employer thousands of dollars each year, mention this to your networking contacts.
In other words, tell your network contacts anything that highlights your past career accomplishments. If these contacts know that you either saved your past employers money or helped boost their bottom lines, the odds are good that they’ll be more than willing to write letters of recommendation, personally recommend you to business executives, and alert you when jobs are about to open.
The Networking Advantage
Finding a job today remains a huge challenge, even as the employment rate gradually falls. You need the help of your business associates to gain an advantage. But before you can count on that help, you’ll have to sell yourself … just as if you were in a real job interview.
If you need help on promoting yourself, sign up for our Get Hired Bootcamp. We can help you fine-tune your professional job search.