Give Notice… To Your Networkby Sima Dahl
In Harvey Mackay’s bestseller “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” he outlines his technique for what is arguably the most essential tool in both business and job-hunting—networking. One of my favorites “Mackay Maxims” is as true today as it was the day he wrote it more than a decade ago:
No matter how smart you are, no matter how talented, you can’t do it alone.
It Takes a Village
Without fail, if you ask me for advice on launching a job search or reinvigorating one in progress, I will tell you to give your network notice. Large or small, you can’t expect your network to help you find a job if they don’t know you’re on the market, and the onus is on you to clue them in.
Keep It Simple, Seriously
If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of asking your network for help then you’re thinking too hard. There are just five essential elements to include:
- Why you’re looking for work. Whether you’ve been laid-off, fired or you’re just bored to tears there is absolutely no shame in seeking gainful employment. Ever.
- 10-second elevator pitch. A sentence or two about your skills and passion. What makes you tick.
- Target job title. This is particularly helpful to people who may not be familiar with marketing jargon.
- Industries or companies of interest. If you have a geographic preference include that too.
- Next steps. Let people know how best to help you. If you need someone to proofread your resume, make an introduction or simply keep an ear to the ground, say so.
The most efficient way to do this is of course to send an email. A word of caution:
if you’re going to send a group email, be sure to use the bcc field to protect
people’s privacy. And consider whether you really need to attach your resume or if an offer to send it to anyone interested will work just as well. Finally, if your job search isn’t confidential, update your status on social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook. The faster the word spreads, the better.
What Comes Around…
Networking is by definition a two-way interaction. By asking your network for help, you give them permission to ask the same of you. When you stop and think about it, you’re almost doing them a favor.
Please feel free to ask questions, share tips or send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.