These upgrades deliver newfound reach and turn the tables for you in a positive way. These practices also reward you with an alternative currency – confidence.

A May 30th Wall Street Journal article proclaimed, “Landing a Job is All About Who You Know (Again),” and opened with a story of networking success. The narrative is familiar to Ad Lucem newsletter readers – clicking apply just won’t get you the interview alone. According to the article:

  • Applicants with referrals had a 50% chance of advancing past an initial résumé review, compared with 12% odds for other external candidates;
  • 30% of eventual hires had referrals, even though people with referrals represented just 5% of the applicant pool.

Our previous post on Networking Fundamentals covered the reasons why connections are essential to landing a new role. For those having success as Curious Connectors, the recommendations below are the equivalent of a software upgrade to your newly adopted networking practices!

Ideally, you’re networking regularly (e.g., 2 calls per week). You’re offering to help and closing with an ask for referrals. You’re even following up with a great thank you note each time. Now is the time to shift from Curious to Kind Connector – it’s time to start giving back as part of the process.

It might seem impractical or counterintuitive, though. Your “what’s in it for me” alarm might be sounding, especially if you’ve not landed a role yet. And, if you have landed, you could be focusing all of your energy on starting strong and making amazing first impressions. In either case, now is the time to make this shift in behavior and mindset.

The Kind Connector becomes a sought-out resource. Instead of your meetings and calls being the result of your requests, they now become the response to someone else’s need. Imagine a meeting or two each week resulting from the outreach of another in need? Not only can you now offer assistance, but you can still ask for help from someone who’s likely enthusiastic to give it!

Now it’s time to metaphorically “click to install” three new features for your networking operating system:

Upgrade #1: The “Dear Friends” Update Note

You should be logging each connection you make and referral you receive. Every 6-8 weeks, drop the full network a status update to keep them posted on your progress. If you’ve not yet landed, this reminds your network that you’re still available and keeps them alert for opportunities for you. For those that have landed, it’s a chance to continue to grow your network by offering to help those in need.

A great status update includes a metric or two (interviews held, meetings conducted, etc.) and a personal anecdote. It also includes a mention of gratitude as well as an offer to help. Finally, it should always include a call to action. “I’m still looking for referrals and have attached an updated Target Company List for your review” is a great way to gain 2-3 new introductions from just one note.

Upgrade #2: The Daily LinkedIn Ritual

You’re probably on LinkedIn every day already. Whether checking job postings, updating your target company list or researching upcoming connections, it’s THE platform for conducting your business. Now it’s time to look for those in need of help, especially those in your field or function.

  • Look out for the green “open to work” halo and like or comment on those posts to amplify their reach.
  • If you think you might be able to offer a referral or two, invite them to connect and set up a call to meet. Even if you feel you might be directly competing for future opportunities, you should be extending a helping hand to whoever you can.
  • If you see a job posting that could be helpful to someone in your network, forward it with a message directly to them. This tactic works even if your connection is fully employed – if they are engaged in helping others, this role could be a great fit for someone new.

Upgrade #3: Volunteer Wherever You Can

Nothing increases your reach faster than an already established audience! Where can you volunteer to help others that may also result in an expanded network? 

  • Industry or trade associations offer the chance to connect and collaborate with new peers. Those groups also have speaking opportunities where your expertise can be extremely valuable to others. It’s a great chance to “wow” someone at a target company and create a new connection!
  • Functional associations can be equally powerful. The American Marketing Association, for example, is a national organization with local chapters of volunteer marketing and advertising professionals that always need help. There are likely multiple, similar groups for everything from accounting to warehousing.
  • Alumni groups offer exceptional reach. Get involved both online and in person with your former college(s), if you’re not already. This doesn’t mean writing a check – offer to speak in classes, reach out to former professors, and cultivate connections with new graduates. 

These upgrades deliver newfound reach and turn the tables for you in a positive way. These practices also reward you with an alternative currency – confidence. At a time when you might feel that resource is depleted, this new mindset can give you a real boost.

Keep up the fundamentals too. Make connecting part of your ongoing professional practice while upgrading in a few select ways will pay off!

Ad Lucem Group can help with professional coaching to improve all aspects of your search. If you want a head start, book a time with us to discuss any of these topics or begin your networking journey.

Charley Orwig

Charley Orwig

Senior Strategy and Brand Marketing Advisor

Charley is a dynamic business leader and marketing executive with 20 years of experience driving business growth. Charley spent much of his career in Brand Management at Kraft, before taking on consulting and leadership roles in marketing and data science. Charley holds a BS in Communication from Bradley University and an MBA from Benedictine University and holds certifications in Appreciative Inquiry and Ecommerce Analytics. Charley is a marketing instructor in Northwestern’s Kellogg Executive Education program and holds faculty positions at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and Benedictine University, where he teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate marketing and communications.

Learn more about Charley here.

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