Four Strategies Help You Find Your Dream Job in the Unpublished Job Market

The unpublished job market, also known as the hidden job market, covers around 70% of all available jobs available in the marketplace.

6 Steps to Job Search Using Your Networking Contact List

Your personal contacts can provide you with current information on the company and position vacancies that are not posted in the regular job marketplace.

6 Tips on How to Get Job Referrals From Your Network Contacts

The renowned author and businessman Harvey McKay always says, "Dig your well before you are thirsty".

Discover the Unpublished Job Market

This is a preview lesson from my Udemy course "Getting Ahead in the Unpublished Job Market".

Discovering the Hidden Opportunities of the Unpublished Job Market

But did you know that the published jobs only represent about 30% of all available jobs at any given time?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

6 Steps to Job Search Using Your Networking Contact List

6 Steps to Job Search Using Your Networking Contact List

When you are looking for a job, apart from checking the ads in newspapers and specialized job search engines on the internet, you should also ask for information from the people on your network's contact list.

Your personal contacts can provide you with current information on the company and position vacancies that are not posted in the regular job marketplace. Sometimes, when they do not provide information about the job opening you are looking for, your contacts may be able to refer you to someone else who might be able to provide the information you are looking for about the industry, company or position of interest.

This is an example of what networking is. Networking is when you start reaching out to your list of contacts to get needed information or referrals from your friends' network of contacts. Many people are repelled by the thought of networking. Some critics of networking believe that is not a reliable as a source of information about industry, companies or job openings. Others say it is easier to keep on with the traditional job market ads than to rely on network of contacts to get the information we need as part of our job hunting efforts.

You may have not notice it, but you are already networking on a daily basis and you just don't know it. As you go along with your daily chores, you interact with people you know; the hairdresser, the bank's manager, your neighbors, your friends and family, your coworkers, current and former, classmates and other acquaintances. All these people, that be a potential source of information, leads and contacts for a position if interest. The make your overall networking process easier, here are some basic, but important tips:

  • Make a list of your "warm contacts"

Well, Walt Disney once said the "everything begins with a mouse". Them it comes to networking, everything begins with a list. We call this list a warm contact list as it includes people that you know and that will either take you call without much hesitation or will get back you as they know who you are. For some people, this may seem as a scary step so, as you become more ease with the process, begin with your family and closest friends and then expand your list to include other acquaintances. Remember that warm contact list includes people that know you and that you interact, compared to a cold contact list that includes people that you didn't have any contact for a while.

  • Contacting people from your network list

When you reach out to a contact from your network list a warm contact, let them know that you are actively seeking a job. Be candid on what kind of job you are looking for and ask them if they know of job openings in the area of interest you are interested in. By letting you contacts know your preference of type of position, industry and companies of interest, will allow them to help them to provide you quality information, referral or contacts. It is very important to share your contact information with your network, so they can reach you in case they hear of anything. It has been my personal experience that some of my network contacts even asked me for a copy of my resume so that can pass it along their network of contacts, so have an updated resume ready if ask you for it.

  • Do a self-assessment before reaching out to your network

As you over the process of contacting your network, it is likely that they will want to know more about your experience, skill, expectations and job preferences to that that better help you. You should be able to provide this information in a concise manner and to describe what kind of information you might want your contact to provide you..
Many business recruiting and human resources professional suggest that you prepared a short script that you can practice from. They call this script the "elevator speech" or "two minutes speech", where you can articulate your job expectations and preferences, relevant experience and skills in about two minutes. In case more detail conversation is needed, then a short follow up meeting or call might be needed to go over your resume.

  • Ask your network contacts for referrals

In case the person you are contacting can't provide you with information you are need for your job search efforts, you can kindly ask for information of at least two people that might be able to help you. Ask if your contact might send an introduction note of call before you call or email the referral.

  • When referred, act upon your referrals immediately

When you are referred to another person, your contact might contact then to introduce you and let them know that you will be contacting them. So keep in touch with your network to know when is a good time to make your move within a few days after you have been referred.
When you call the referred person keep proper business etiquette. When you make the call, introduce yourself and let the person know who referred you and how you are related with your contact. Be straightforward, but polite, in sharing with the person what information you are interested in.
Sometimes, the person you were referred to might call your contact after you call. Therefore, it is good idea to call your contact to share how the call went and, more important, to thank him or her for the referral.

  • Be always available to add value to your network

This is a crucial point. Networking is a two-way street when it comes to add value to one another. As you help your network, your people will more willing to help you by providing information and referrals, when the time comes.

As you gain experience through practice, you will find that networking is not an obscure science, but an interesting, fun and rewarding experience for you "team". It is also one of the most important tools when it comes to take your career enhancement and overall job search strategies to the next level.

Ramon Torres is the founder of and the author of the video course "Getting Ahead in the Unpublished Job Market" on Udemy. 

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6 Tips on How to Get Job Referrals From Your Network Contacts

6 Tips on How to Get Job Referrals From Your Network Contacts

One of the multiple benefits of leveraging on your personal or professional network as part of your job search efforts is that some of your network contacts may be somehow related to the industry or company of interest and can provide you with useful information and referrals.

However, there are times that some contacts, especially those who you do not have a close relationship with, that may be somehow reluctant to share their network information to you.
To better manage your resources, particularly when it comes to networking as part of job search efforts, here are some useful tips for you.

  • Nurture and add value to your network.

The renowned author and businessman Harvey McKay always says, "Dig your well before you are thirsty". Don't make the mistake to wait until you are looking for a job to grow and nurture your network. As we never know when we might need it, it makes sense to have an active career network, even if you think you may not need it today.
Don't just contact those who can help when you have just been laid-off from your job or decide you want to look for a new position. Keep in touch with your network on a regular basis - even if it's just a brief email to say hello and to ask how they are doing or look for how you can help your contacts. People are more willing to help when they know who you are.

  • Consider your approach

Since you may have different levels of relationship with the contacts in your network, it is recommended that you adjust your approach accordingly. For some of your not-so-close contacts, it may be inappropriate to just give them a call out of nowhere to ask for referrals. In those cases, consider sending them an email or note, or ask them for time to coffee or lunch to reconnect and ask them for advice would be a better approach.

  • Listen for what they has to say

Even if the person does not know much about the field or company of interest, they might provide you with valuable advice. Don't make the mistake of not being attentive to your contact's advice as they might be giving you gems of information that may be valuable as you go along with your search.

  • Ask your contact for at least two referrals.

Once you listen to the information or advice you are being provided, ask for at least two referrals in your field of interest.
If, for some reason, your acquaintance wasn't able to refer you to at least one of their network contacts, politely ask them why. Be attentive to their answers as that may include suggestions, indirect comments or even feedback about your work or about an area of you that may need some improvement. Is that is the case, be thankful for the feedback as it may be key for better positioning in your career advancement strategy.

And, of course, there are also times when some of your contacts can't provide you referrals because they just don't know anybody in your field or employer of interest. In such a case, ask them to keep their "radar on" for potential opportunities that you might be interested in.

  • Just ask for two referrals.

So you may ask, why two referrals? Two referrals are enough from each of your contact. The reason behind the number is for you to have more than one option in case the first one didn't result as planned. On the other hand, asking your contacts for more than two referrals could be improper as it can take additional time and effort from your network contact. So, don't ask for more than 2 referrals and if they volunteer more than two, the better.

  • Contact referrals as soon as possible.

Once you are provided with referrals, don't hesitate to followup upon the information given. There are times when your contact may call the person to introduce you and to let them know that you will be contacting them. Being that so, you don't want to delay on taking action.

Also it can happen the other way around where you speak with the referral and the person contact your network acquaintance to verify your information and to get some feedback. So it is beneficial for you that these conversations happen sooner than later so your network friend has the conversation with still fresh in his mind.

Remember that, by keeping an active network of contacts, being receptive to the information and feedback provided and acting upon the referrals received, you will be in good shape in your quest to get that job you are looking for.

Ramon Torres is the founder of and the author of the video course "Getting Ahead in the Unpublished Job Market" on Udemy.

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