I really hate mayonnaise based salads. YUCK!
When I go to a potluck dinner I bring dishes that I like to eat. That way I know I will find at least one thing to eat in a sea of mayonnaise salads.
Job search is like a potluck dinner. Responding to job advertisements means you take potluck of whatever company happens to post a job. It might be the right company or job for you. Or not. The only distinguishing factor is that it is a posted open job.
Potluck job search is just not enough.
The trick to successful job search is to create your own opportunities by expanding your job search universe! Maybe even to jobs that are not yet posted. Or not even thought of yet.
Networking is the key to expanding your job search universe! It is almost as good as creating your own opportunities.
Here are six tips to networking into new job search opportunities:
- Know what you want. You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want. Check out Part 1 of this series to ask yourself “what” kind of organization fits your needs. At the beginning the most important “whats” are geography and industry.
- Create a list of target companies in your preferred geography. We don’t care about whether these companies are necessarily hiring today. We just want to know who they are.
- Sort that list into A, B, and C categories by any factor you want related to what you want. For example, the A list could be companies that are within 10 miles of your home, the B list could be the companies that are 20 miles away and the C category could be companies that are 30 miles or more away from home. Or you could put them in alphabetical order. It doesn’t matter. Just break down that bigger list into manageable pieces.
- Research each company one at a time. Visit the company’s website and Google it to find recent news. Then check out the company’s LinkedIn page. If you like what you see then you go further. Consider “following” the company on LinkedIn. That way the company knows you are interested. If you are not interested, then drop this company from your list. No sense wasting time on companies that do not appear to be a good fit for you.
- Find people who work there. Go to the company’s LinkedIn page to see all the people who work there. Use the search functions to identify people with job titles that might be peers, hiring managers or other folks in the department.
- Start reaching out to network with those people. Send a connection invitation with a note. Start a conversation through LinkedIn or reach out directly depending on how comfortable you are with outreach. Conversations via LinkedIn messaging create warm leads that make it easier to ask for a personal meeting. We call that “coffee”.
Job search is a numbers game. More outreach delivers more action. The Interview Doctor’s Job Requirements Comparison List is the perfect tool to clarify what you want. Networking is easier when you know what you want!! Download the Job Requirements Comparison List today to get started on your networking adventure! So much better than taking potluck.