You’ve heard it time and time again, networking is the most effective way to find a job. But how do you differentiate yourself/reach out from the others using common outreach techniques such as attending professional events and utilizing social media to connect with potential hiring managers?
It’s not transactional process. It’s relationship building. The secret is to establish a genuine connection with those hiring managers. Although talent and experience are critically important, it’s the person the hiring manager truly likes and respects who will ultimately get the offer.
Here are few tips to help you build that connection:
Build Your Professional Community
Be an active participant in your professional community to build new business relationships – in essence, to become known. This doesn’t just mean you attend networking events or connect with industry professionals on LinkedIn.
Establish yourself as an industry leader by participating in professional associations, serving on boards that align with your industry expertise, and consistently attending professional events.
Such interactions give you the chance to get to know your colleagues and potential hiring managers on a personal level. The relationship becomes more than a casual interaction through a quick introduction. You are also sharing your insight/expertise and working closely with colleagues where you will have the opportunity to learn about their interests, family and career.
Proactively Reach Out on Social Media
You’ve built a strong professional network on LinkedIn; now proactively reach out to your connections through LinkedIn. For example, consistently review your connections’ status updates on your LinkedIn home page. If a potential hiring manager recently shared some news on their company or recently updated their title to indicate they were promoted, be sure to send a personal note to them on LinkedIn congratulating them on the company’s success and/or their recent promotion.
This shows your interest in their successes and people are more likely to feel connected to a professional who shows a sincere interest in their experiences. Another strategy is to share an article with a potential hiring manager that might interest him/her. If you recently read an article about evolving trends in their industry, send a link to that article stating you read this article and thought it might be of interest.
These strategies show your personal interest in learning more about the potential hiring manager and showcase your interest in their career and company. Participating in conversations (discussion threads) within LinkedIn professional groups is also a great way to reach out and share insight with a potential hiring manager. Be sure to read the news feeds and respond to questions or share experiences within your LinkedIn professional groups. These opportunities also give others the chance to get to know you and your skills in a more informal setting.
Take Your Time and Show Your Appreciation
As you would with a friend, respect your contact’s time and space. Don’t bombard them with questions or information. Executives should always be fostering their network, not just quickly trying to establish a relationship when a job opportunity becomes available.
By continuously nurturing your network, you can reach out, ask questions and share information without being a pest. Also, if you are asking a potential hiring manager for insight on a position, asking for a recommendation, or asking a general career question, be sure to show your appreciation for their time and assistance through a brief thank you via email or phone.
‘Cozying up to the hiring manager’ requires a time investment that will be beneficial as part of your long-term career strategy.
Build and foster these relationships by sharing your value, showing genuine interest in their career, and finding common ground in your personal life. These strategies can lead to long-term professional relationships with people who will come to you when they learn about a great job opportunity.
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