You’ve undoubtedly heard the advice that the best way to find a new job in today’s economy isn’t through the employment websites or newspaper “Help Wanted” sections, it’s through networking with your circle of business acquaintances. But simply asking former bosses and co-workers, “Help me get a job!” isn’t enough to find employment today.
The people in your network of contacts need to feel confident about recommending you to their fellow business professionals. They need to feel that you’ll do a good job if they set you up with an interview with someone in their own business network. In other words, you have to sell yourself to your business contacts much like you have to market yourself to hiring managers.
Inspiring Confidence Among Your Business Network
Remember, when your former bosses, co-workers, college professors, or local business leaders recommend you for an open position, or when they clue you in to a job opening that hasn’t yet hit the employment websites, they are taking a significant risk. They’re putting their own reputations on the line. If one of their business associates hires you based on their recommendation and you then do a poor job, this can strain their professional relationship with their peer.
Your business contacts, then, need to be absolutely certain that you have the experience and talent to succeed in whatever jobs they recommend for you.
Your job, then, is to persuade your contacts that you are the right person for any open jobs of which they know.
Making a Good Impression
You can do this the same way you convince hiring managers to take a chance on you. First, craft a resume that spells out not just your career stops, but the accomplishments you achieved at them. Secondly, research your field and the companies in it. Your business contacts want to know that you’ve made the effort to stay updated in your field.
Finally, always be professional in your relations with your business contacts. Don’t show up to lunch meetings in jeans and t-shirts. Don’t pepper your conversations with rude jokes or inappropriate speech. Act as if you are on a job interview, because really, you are.
Professional Job Change
If you need help finding a job or if you want to make a professional job change, you’ll need the assistance of your business network. Make sure to inspire confidence in these people.
If you need help crafting an effective job search strategy, sign up for our Get Hired Bootcamp. We can help you impress all of the members of your business network as you hunt for a new career.