An estimated 70% of jobs are not advertised. That’s a lot of jobs you might be missing out on.
And I guarantee you, the best job are definitely not on a job board. So how do you land them?
The answer is networking.
Oh no. Not networking. Think of networking and you picture a room full of strangers madly passing out business cards, followed by hiding in the bathroom.
This type of networking sucks. I hate it. I really do. And almost everyone I know does, too.
That’s not the type of networking I’m talking about.
The networking I’m talking about involves using your circle of connections to do most of the work for you.
There are three basic steps to creating a networking plan:
- Define your network
- Create and deliver your message
- Follow up and conduct informational interviews
Here’s an explanation of each step.
Step 1: Define your existing network
Your network includes almost everyone you’ve ever met. We are talking about family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, ex-colleagues, clients, ex-clients, your kids’ friends parents, members of any clubs or organizations you’ve joined and people in your online social networks.
And don’t tell yourself, “I really don’t have a network”. Everyone apart from a complete hermit knows other people. Put together a list of people in your network.
Ideally, you’ll need their email address and telephone number. A great way to do this is through LinkedIn.
Then divide them into groups. Who are your closest friends and the people most likely to help you? Those people fall into group number 1. Group number 2 will have the people who are next closest to you. And so on. Try to have 4 or 5 groups.
Now, don’t worry about the number of people you have, as the power will come in your network’s network and who they know.
Step 2: Create and deliver your message
The dream job search is like a giant treasure hunt. Unless you know what the treasure looks like and can describe it to others, they can’t help you.
Come up with 5-7 sentences that explain exactly what kind of work you are looking for. It needs to include these elements:
- What type of work you are looking for (marketing, sales, communications, management, consulting, accounting, finance, etc.)
- What sectors do you want to work in (banking, manufacturing, non-profit, government, hi-tech, retail, fashion, etc.)
- What positions (senior project manager, chief operations officer, vice-president of marketing)
- Other factors like: size of company, company culture, flexibility, salary needs, etc.
- Name some companies that would make for an ideal employer (for example you might be interested in working in high-street fashion and identify Top Shop, Gap, H&M, Zara and Benetton as your dream employers)
One vital aspect of this process is to ensure that the description is specific enough.
The next step is to send your message out to the world. Start with the people in group #1. Email them, invite them for coffee, or whatever. Tell them exactly what you want, like you did in the previous exercise.
Even if you only get a few responses, don’t despair, all it takes is one great connection and you may find your dream job.
Step 3: Follow up and conduct informational interviews
So now you’ve found the people, created the message and delivered it. Eventually, you’ll get a bite. Someone who can get you closer to your dream job wants to meet.
At this point, you need to schedule an informational interview with this person.
The goal in these meetings is to get closer and closer to your dream job. Maybe this person can’t hire you or isn’t looking to hire anyone, but they can refer you to someone else who is.
Tell the person you are meeting with why you want this job, why you’re the best person for it – even if you’re not the most qualified and ask them how they think you should go about landing it. Then shut up. Let them talk and give you all the advice you can get out of them.
At some point, you’re gonna get a break and you’ll land an interview with a hiring manager for your dream job.
So, if you’re interested in learning the interview secrets that landed me jobs like stockbroker at Morgan Stanley, P.R. Director for an Indy Car race team, or V.P. at a major sports agency, join my mailing list and be the first to know when I reveal them.