The Networking Strategy that Will Help Find Your Next Job

Spirited Professional ConversationSo you are looking for the right job fresh out of college? Or you have a job, but you’re longing for a better one?

What if you could just chat with a colleague, maybe at a conference, and hear the magic words, “Hey, we’d love it if you’d come work for us”?

When you get into a spirited professional conversation, career magic happens.

Job searching be much easier if you already knew plenty of colleagues who could tell you if their workplace is awesome — or awful. And put in a good word for you. But you don’t know people at every company… because most of us don’t network as much as we should.

Your challenge: get your foot in the door, get to know the company and get them to know you, without the knuckle-biting stress of an interview; perhaps without even a resume.

To do that: consider “cold emailing” – a networking strategy few people have leveraged (but those who have, know it works!)

The 3 Steps to Finding a Colleague Withing a Target Company

1. Find a colleague in your target company. Look for someone with a cool job at your level. If you’re a senior software engineer, for example, look for another senior software engineer.

2. Ferret out their email address, then cold email them; introduce yourself and give a link to an online profile or two; they’ll most likely answer. They enjoy chatting with other smart professionals. (That’s you, right?)

3. Set up that spirited, professional conversation. After you’ve spent a bit of time developing a one-on-one relationship, the two of you can talk about your profession and experiences on the job. After all, they’re your peers, not managers or HR people. You can trust them to tell it like it is.

The groundbreaking career book What Color is Your Parachute? suggested the unemployed should do informational interviews to ask experienced professionals about opportunities in the industry. But this strategy is more than that. This is just two professionals with common interests sitting down and talking. No pressure. No expectations.

You can chat with your colleague about the technical side of your job: “We’ve been diving deeper into JavaScript recently.” They can also tell you about their workplace: “There’s lots of adrenaline here, and it’s sometimes a bit draining. But the people are top-notch, and we never go beyond 40 hours in a week.” You can demonstrate your passion.

Employers Crave These Conversations!

Employers, sick of mass-spammed (and irrelevant) resumes, have started using a straightforward but underestimated recruiting strategy themselves: offering access to their top professionals to attract their peers. They want to facilitate these types of conversations… because they know the power of employee referrals and that this sort of friendly conversation goes beyond the usual dull interview questions.

Will Critchlow, CEO of the digital marketing agency Distilled, says, “We love hiring people who are passionate about working for us specifically.” And Critchlow isn’t worried engineers lack sales skills. “We find that the right people just want the unvarnished truth about what it’s like to work here,” he says.

Don’t be shy to contact an interesting company. The Internet startup Kloudless, of Berkley, CA, draws in candidates this way. CEO Eliot Sun says that cold emailers love hearing about the corporate culture and end up choosing Kloudless over larger companies across the Bay.

Cold emailing a colleague is a networking strategy not used by many… but is both highly effective and welcomed by employers. Start a conversation that just might help find your next job… today!

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brazen Careerist!

 

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About the Author: Josh Fox decided that peer-contact programs should be fast and simple for employers and software developers, so he created an easy way for employers to provide an ambassador program, based on FiveYearItch.com. If you’re an employer who’s considered the idea of an ambassador service, please be in touch.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

 

 

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  • How interesting! This strategy not only relieves the stress of contacting those at the very top, but prevents the potential applicant from being perceived as an annoying inbox-filler. Plus, meeting new people – especially within your own field – is always a good thing. You may not know many if your company only employs a small group to do what you do, and it’s pretty well impossible to discuss what you do with people outside of that job, particularly for technical or specialized positions. Not only that, but you could also use this technique to meet people in your field outside of your home city, state, even country. It would be harder to get together in person, though not impossible, and you could learn so much.
    Thanks for the clever suggestions and fantastic article! Lisa Chatroop, Good.Co

  • David Hunt, PE

    At the same time, writing people who are higher, and doing so by snail mail and including a relevant article, can also help you stand out.

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