The best way to accelerate your job search and get into a new role ASAP is by networking with people who work in your companies of interest, and then managing your network to stay top of mind.
I’ve talked about the importance of informational interviews and how to conduct them in a way that feels natural. In a way that you’re relationship building versus desperate.
But once you’ve met or talked with the person, then what? How do you manage your network in your job search?
First, Say Thanks!
After you have met with somebody to learn about information, contacts, or connections they have into your target companies, send them a thank you note.
This is something that people do after job interview, but not always after an informational interview.
Write a quick thank you note. For example:
Thank you so much for meeting and taking some time to talk with me today.
I really appreciated the information you provided about XYZ company and also that you referred me to Yolanda and James. I really look forward to following up and learning more from them.
Thanks again so much. I will look forward to staying in touch.
It’s just as simple as that. People like to know that you value their time.
Next, Follow Through
If your person gave you names of people to contact, follow up with those contacts!
Don’t discount anyone because you might be thinking, “Well, this person wouldn’t know anybody at this company or in this functional area of expertise” because they don’t do anything that’s related to that. For example, you’re in sales, but the contact in your company of choice is in finance.
But the thing is, is that people know, socialize with, and are related to people who are outside of their functional area of expertise. In fact, the average American knows about 600 people!
So don’t discount anyone and follow up with the leads and connections that your original contact gave you. Once you’ve met the person let your original contact know that you met with them. For example:
Just wanted to let you know that I met with Yolanda today. We had a great meeting and she knew 3 people who work at Company A!
I really appreciate the referral, and will continue to stay in touch with updates.
Don’t Leave Them Hanging!
The last step (for now) in nurturing your network is when you do land a position, write a note to every single person that helped you along the way. Give them a few details about your new position and provide any new contact information.
Now you’ve set the stage for continuing a long-lasting relationship–one that spans way beyond just you getting a job.
Finally, pay it forward. Remember what it feels like to be a job seeker so you can do a favor for someone else someday.