5 Networking Strategies to Accelerate Your Job SearchSep 17, 2023
Read time: 4 minutes
Networking can help you land a better job, much faster, especially in this job market. Here’s a very recent example…
Unfortunately, Maria was laid off after being impacted by a RIF around a month ago.
So, she began reaching out to her network and expanded her connections.
One of her former colleagues, Matt, introduced her to someone who he had worked with previously, who we’ll call Sam.
She met with Sam, and it turned out he knew of an open job that was a good fit for Maria. Sam then introduced Maria to the hiring manager for the job, who agreed to meet with her.
Within a month of being laid off, she got the job offer!
The best part is that the hiring manager for that job told me they had already received a TON of applications. It’s unlikely Maria would have even received an interview if Sam hadn’t referred her to the manager.
I love this story because it’s a perfect illustration of the power of your network. It took 3 connections through the network to get Maria hired. It’s rarely your 1st-degree connections that get you a job. It’s the 2nd or 3rd-degree connections that get you there (see Weak Ties).
Maria crushed her interviews and would have landed a job anyway because she’s amazing. But because she leveraged her network in the right way, she significantly accelerated her search. This is only one example of hundreds that I’ve witnessed throughout the community.
Networking provides you with:
- Referrals to open (or future) roles
- Introductions to the hiring manager or recruiter
- Company insights (culture, interview process, etc.)
- External Introductions (at another company)
- New friends and relationships!
The benefits of networking probably aren’t new to you. But most people aren’t effective at networking and can never reap all its benefits.
So, how do you accelerate your job search through effective networking?
1. Focus on Quality Connections.
Rather than going to random networking events and hoping to make a relevant connection that will lead to an opportunity, narrow your focus and shift your energy toward targeting the right people.
These are people who are already in your target role, on the teams you want to join, and in the companies that you want to work for.
The good news is, the people you want to target are on LinkedIn, and you can find them easier than ever.
Do a simple search using this format: “[Role]” AND “[Industry]” (or) “[Company]”
And then filter by “People”.
The more specific you are, the more likely that person will be able to help you in your journey.
2. Shift from Self-Centered to Mutual Benefit
Connecting with people can’t only be about you otherwise, it won’t work. The people that can help you are busy. In order to earn their time and eventually earn a referral, you need to focus on them and how you can provide them with value.
Don’t make it only about you
🛑 “Can you help me get a job?”
🛑 “Can you hop on a call with me?”
🛑 ”Pass my resume to your hiring manager”
Do find ways to provide them with value to earn a response to your message, earn a meeting with them, and earn a referral. These are a few examples:
✅ “What are your career goals? Is there anything I can do to help you?” (even if there isn’t anything they need help with, most people will appreciate your offering)
✅ Offer to make an introduction
✅ Share recommendations for a common personal interest (e.g. restaurant/travel recommendations)
When you reach out to strangers or mutual connections, consider ways to give them value before you ask anything of them.
3. Prepare and Plan
Once you get a networking call setup. Have a strategy for your conversation to ensure it’s a good experience for both of you.
- Research the individual's background, current role, and company
- Take a look at what they’ve posted or written about.
- Find commonality to share.
- Prepare open-ended questions that promote discussion.
- Ask about their career journey.
- Ask about a common interest.
- Ask about their perspective or advice on a topic (people love giving advice)
- Continue to add value through the conversation.
- Bring new information or perspective around a shared topic of interest to the conversation.
- Bring positive energy to the conversation, have genuine interest, and show gratitude.
4. Earn the Referral
Three ways to get a referral.
- Ideally, you’ve provided them with value and had such a wonderful conversation that they offer to refer you for a job or make an introduction to a hiring manager
- If you feel you’ve developed a connection with them, you can ask directly. Shoot your shot!
- “Would you consider referring me for the [role] - or sharing the hiring manager’s name with me?”.
- If you feel there’s more work to be done to develop a stronger connection with them, continue to add value:
- Then ask “Thanks again for meeting. If there are ever any open roles that you think I could be a fit for, I’d love for you to consider passing my resume/LI along to the hiring manager.”
- They’ll say, “of course, I’d be happy to”
- Then, whenever you see a role at that company, you can go back to them and with your request since they already said they would
5. Nurture Relationships
Stay in contact with your new connection! Don’t only go to them when you need something. The best way to check-in and keep your connections warm is to provide them with value without any requests!
- Engage on their posts/content or recognize their work (e.g. article they wrote)
- If they provided you with advice during our conversation, take action on it and follow up with your results (this is one of my favorite messages to get). No ask. Just a lovely update.
If you do this, people are much more likely to support you when you have a request, such as when their company has a job opening and you would like a referral.
Effective networking is about building meaningful connections with mutual benefit.
There are certainly more strategies on networking that I’ll cover in a future article, but I’m confident if you incorporate these techniques into your approach, you’re much more likely to get the outcomes you want, whether you're aiming to land a new job or advance in your career.
Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:
- Job Accelerator Program: This comprehensive program gives you the step-by-step roadmap and live coaching that has helped hundreds of people land six-figure jobs quickly.
- Personalized 1:1 Coaching – We'll work together to give you an accelerated job landing strategy.