Build Your Referral Network – The Targeted Job Search

Your Referral Network

referral networkAbout 85% of all jobs are filled through employee referrals. Therefore, it makes sense to build a referral network at every company where you might like to work in the future.

Before you read on, this is the fourth in this series on the Targeted Job Search. If you have not read the previous steps this is a good time to read them:

I have written about building and researching your target list. You connected to recruiters inside your target companies, primarily to have closer connections to their employees via Linkedin. Now it is time to build your referral network.

Using LinkedIn advanced search, locate employees with similar job titles and certifications and develop a list of potential new connections.

At this point you can take a couple of different strategies:

Strategy #1 – Look for a Common Connection

For each 2nd degree person on your list, look to see how you are connected on LinkedIn.  Pick one of your common connections and ask how well they are acquainted and would they be willing to make an introduction?

What you are looking for is a personal introduction. In the sales world, this is referred to as a warm lead.

Strategy #2 – Systematically Look at LinkedIn Profiles

Every day, look at a couple of LinkedIn profiles on your list. Make sure your LinkedIn setting called “Select what other see when you’ve viewed their profile” is set to display your name.  On a daily basis, look to see who has looked at your profile.

When someone pokes their head into your profile, send them a LinkedIn connection request and ask for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

Once they have looked at your profile, you are no longer an unknown. They should recognize your name and know a little bit about you.

Whether you use strategy #1 or #2, the idea is to get to meet each person and develop a relationship. You are looking for an internal advocate so that, when a position becomes available, they will be willing and able to pass your resume through company channels.

This takes time and persistence. If you spend 15-30 minutes reaching out to new connections and meet one new person week, you will build a significant referral network in just a few months.

As you build your referral network, it is equally as important to maintain that network through careful and persistent cultivation.

The goal is to have a referral network at every company on your target list.

We know that people change jobs every few years. You will want to review your target list to check who is working at each company every six months.

If you carefully follow all of the steps in the Targeted Job Search, you will have choices in where you work for the rest of your career.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Creating Your Network for Career Success

Creating Your Network

creating your networkCreating your network can and should be done strategically. In my last post, Networking Strategically to Your Next Position, I discussed the need for you to define your tribe and your fan club.

Who should be in your network?

Connectors

You should have at least 5% of your network be connectors. Connectors are those who know a lot of people and enjoy making connections between them.

I am a connector. I know a lot of people and thoroughly enjoy playing matchmaker. I will warn you that you should be careful in over using any one connector. That is why you should have many connectors in your network.

There are special connectors called recruiters.  In a previous post called Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career, I wrote that you should carefully cultivate strategic relationships with recruiters. They are very busy people but they are people people. Whenever you engage with them, do it with a purpose that is clearly stated.

Connectors are a small but key component when creating your network.

Mentors

As a baby boomer and having started my career in the 1970s, no one encouraged me to find a mentor.

When I started my career with IBM in 1978, I knew to seek out those in the area that really knew what they were talking about AND were not jerks! There were some really big egos who would not help anyone, but there were also those who you could learn from. Seek those people out and cultivate formal mentoring relationships.

I now have multiple mentors each in a different subject area.

Think about who you can ask to be a mentor when creating your network.

Industry or Company Expert

Who in your industry or company do you need to know? Be very selective and make sure they know who you are and what value you bring to the table. You do not need to form a bond with these people, but you do need to be on their radar screen.

I have a client who works for a company that is downsizing. My client is working to maintain “their seat” until they can move on. When the last round of layoffs came my client went to a person of importance within the company and asked for advice.

The person of importance could assure my client of nothing, but we found out later that the person of importance stepped in to make sure my client had “their seat”.

That relationship was built several years earlier!

When creating your network, are their industry experts that you should include?

Peers

This may sound odd, but seek out peers and see how you can help them. I wrote about this in a previous article called Paying It Forward to Establish Your Personal Brand.

What I clearly stated in that post was that it is important to help others and expect nothing in return. Be that guy or gal that people know they can turn to when they need help.

When creating your network, which peers can you help?

Now that we have defined the components of your network, my next post will be about finding and cultivating relationships.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. This webinar series starts on Wednesday May 21st, 2014. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more and to register check out the Cure for Career Insanity page on this website.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for April 5

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Career

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Connecting with Recruiters – The Targeted Job Search

Connecting with Recruiters is Vital

In this social media connected world, recruiters have become the mesh that holds things together. Connecting and cultivating relationships with recruiters and other HR professionals is critical.

Before you read on, this is the fourth in this series on the Targeted Job Search. If you have not read the previous steps this is a good time to read them:

Recruiters are people, and they entered the profession because they like dealing with people.

I know, I know. You have run into some really bad recruiters…people who do not respond to e-mails or phone calls!

Most recruiters are under extreme stress from tight deadlines to hiring managers who do not know what they want or do not know how to interview.

Here are three things I want you to know about recruiters:

  1. They change jobs frequently. With the ups and downs of the economy, recruiters are often the first to be laid off when things get bad, and the first to be hired when things turn around.
  2. They connect with almost everyone in their organizations and carry those connections from company to company. Therefore, they have very large networks.
  3. Recruiters are often the person in between you and the hiring manager.

It is key to cultivate these relationships!

Connecting on LinkedIn with recruiters

For each company on your target list, you should do the following:

  • Go to LinkedIn advanced search and perform a search of the title field for recruiter in the name. I actually use the following search string “recruiter OR Talent OR Human Resources OR HR,” as some organizations do not use recruiter in their titles or may not have someone in HR dedicated to recruiting.
  • Identify a recruiter and send them a connection request. In it, state why you want to connect. A good example is as follows:

Dear insert recruiters name,

I am very interested in a marketing position at xyz company (if there is a current position open mention it). Are you the recruiter who handles these kinds of positions? If not, will you direct me to the recruiter who does? Could we set up a time to talk about your organization? In the mean time, please accept this invitation to connect.

Your name

When the recruiter receives your invitation, three things will happen:

  • Almost every time, the recruiter will accept your invitation to connect. You will now rise higher in their searches because you are a first degree connection. Also, their network of company employees are now your 2nd degree connections. You now will be able to see full names of employees within the target company!
  • If the recruiter likes your profile, they will likely reach out to you for a short conversation via e-mail or over the phone. They may forward you on to the recruiter who handles the positions you are looking for.

What if they accept my connection but I never hear from them?

Send them an e-mail or LinkedIn message. You are now a first degree connection on LinkedIn.

When you do hear from them, do not forget to ask them for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

Recruiters need you as much as you need them. They are looking for referrals. When you talk with them, always be polite and courteous. Always complete the conversation with how can I help you?

Remember that recruiters move around. Keep track of their career moves using LinkedIn Contacts functions or websites like Nimble.  Be helpful to them, even when you are not looking for your next gig.

In my next post I will write about building your referral network!
This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Networking Strategically to Your Next Position

Networking Strategically is Key

Networking StrategicallyNetworking strategically is key to step #3 of the Cure for Career Insanity.

What the heck is networking strategically?  It is networking with a defined goal and a strategy to get to that goal. Let’s look at some examples:

  • You are unemployed and are looking for a job.  Your goal might be to get to know the recruiter who handles positions for a company, or the hiring manager for current and future positions.
  • You are employed, but want out of your current company. You probably have the same goal as the unemployed job seeker, BUT you may have a different strategy because you do not want your current employer to know.
  • You are looking into a career change.  Your want to meet professionals in the field that you wish to switch into, with a goal to decide on a new career path.
  • You either want to move up or laterally in your current company. Your goal might be to meet and build relationships outside of your current management chain.

The goal in all of these examples is to build key and strategic relationships with people who can help you define what is next by asking for what you want in your career.

There are two groups I want you to focus on first before you start networking strategically.

Your Tribe

In my book, Repurpose Your Career -  A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, which I co-authored with Susan Lahey, your tribe is described as follows:

Your tribe is the group of people who will get you through your Career Pivot, because believe me,with all this change, facing uncertain prospects and being humble while asking for help, you are going to need some people rooting for you. Your tribe is also the group you can call on for an introduction or some advice over coffee. And they can call on you, too–whether for themselves, or for a friend who wants some intelligence about your areas of expertise. It’s like the barn raising communities where you all help your neighbor build his barn, knowing—without asking– he’ll show up with lunch and a hammer to help you raise yours.

The reality is we can maintain a maximum of about 150 relationships in our lives. Your tribe is the key to success when networking strategically.

(More: Build Your Tribe for Career Success)

Your Fan Club

Peter Arnell wrote about fan clubs in his book Shift: How to Reinvent Your Business, Your Career, and Your Personal Brand. From this book, I learned about the importance of fan clubs to any job search. These are the people who care about you and want you to succeed. These are the people who will cheer you on and you will lean on when you are the most discouraged.

In 2002, I had a near fatal bicycle accident which was my wake-up call to do something different with my life. I went off to teach high school math at an inner city high school. I built a fan club that supported me through that very difficult first year of teaching.

(More: Building a Fan Club)

In my next post on the Cure for Career Insanity I will discuss implementing a plan that will get you networking strategically.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more, please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for March 29

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Social Media

Career

 CareerPivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Research Your Target List – The Targeted Job Search

Research Your Target List

target listThis is the third in the series on the Targeted Job Search.

If you have not already read the previous posts, please do that now:

Step #2 in this process is to properly research the companies on your radar. Your goal is to find out if the company is somewhere you would want to work.

Start with some basic research:

  • Check out each company’s website from your target list. Particularly, check out the press release section. Here, you will find press releases for financials, if it is a public company. If it is a start-up company, you will want to look for press releases for funding announcements.
  • Check out all of the companies on your target list on Glassdoor. You will want to take the reviews on Glassdoor with a grain of salt. Read this latest article on Recruiter.com titled “Should Employers Fear Glassdoor Reviews.”

Connect on LinkedIn with Current Employees

You will want to locate employees by either certification or job title from your target list. The process I have had clients follow is the following:

  • Go to LinkedIn Advanced Search
  • Enter the certification letters (PMI or SPHR or CCNA, etc.) in the Last Name field or your job title in the Title field.
  • Enter the company name in the Company field and select current from the drop down menu
  • Enter your zip code into the Postal Code field
  • Click on Search

Using LinkedIn, locate people in the company who you are either already connected to or who you are a 2nd degree connection with. You will want to ask your connection how well they know the individual and whether they would be willing to make an introduction. You are looking for an introduction.

You may have to approach multiple connections for multiple individuals. Be persistent.

Once you have an introduction, schedule a phone call to plan to meet for coffee or lunch in order to ask them for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

You are not looking for a job. You want to find out whether they like working there. What are the good and bad points about working there? Lastly, you want to ask them – who should I talk to next or who can you introduce me to learn more?

Connect with them on LinkedIn.

Connect on LinkedIn with Past Employees

Follow the same process but in the drop down menu for company select Past not Current!

You will want to ask these past employees why they left the company.

You may get a different view of the company!

Connect with these individuals on LinkedIn.

If you approach these individuals asking for advice rather than asking for a job,most of them will be receptive.

When did you turn anyone down when someone asked you for advice?

Next week I will be writing about connecting with recruiters.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Ask for What You Want in Your Career

Do you know how to ask for what you want?

askWhat is this “ask for what you want” stuff?

I am a baby boomer—and a guy, at that. I was raised to go to work and earn a living to support my family.  I do not like asking for directions! 

Most of us do not even know how to ask for what we want in our career or job.

I cannot tell you how many networking events or private meetings I’ve had with people who responded to the question, “What are you looking for?” by going “blah blah blah blah.”  What I mean is that they say nothing of substance.

I then spend the next 15-20 minutes asking questions and pulling the information out of them. It is only then that I can really help them.

Do you recognize yourself in the above?

Learning to ask for what you want is step #3 in the Cure for Career Insanity.

Step #1 is to understand why you want you leave your current position.

Step #2 is to define what you want in a boss, team, reward, structure, variety, activity and emotional environment.

Now you need to craft the equivalent of an elevator pitch to say what you’re looking for. You need to be able to clearly and succinctly express what you want.

For example:

I am looking for a smaller organization in the yyy industry, where I get to lead a cohesive team developing zzz. 

After a little discussion you can add:

I want a manager who will support me, but allow me to run the show as I see fit.  I want to work in an organization that values teamwork with minimal politics.

How long will this take to develop and perfect?  Probably longer than you think.  You should practice this on friends, significant others, and anyone else that will provide constructive criticism. It is not important how it sounds to you, rather, is it understandable to your audience?

Once you have crafted that pitch, you need to get out and talk to people.  It is my claim that when you can state clearly and succinctly what you want, you will have friends , colleagues and countrymen come to your aide.  The key point is clarity and succinctness!

Rather than show up at a networking event, go ask for A-I-R, ask for Advice, Insights and Recommendations. Please read this post first before continuing.  It will give you a strategy for approaching people.  When you ask for advice, rarely will you be turned down.  If someone turns you down, then…well…you do not want to talk to them anyway!

Once you start doing this, you will find opportunities coming to you!  Yes, this process WORKS! 85% of all positions are filled through referrals!

You just have to ask for what you want!

This is step #3 in the Cure for Career Insanity.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more, please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for March 22

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Job Search

Career

CareerPivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Building your Target List – The Targeted Job Search

Your Target List

target list

Your target list should contain companies that could hire you. You should be looking for companies that are looking for your skill set. This is step one of Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job  or the Targeted Job Search.

Let’s cover four sources to find these companies.

1 – Your Friends

This might seem obvious, but you should talk to your friends about where they work and whether they know of companies that hire people like yourself. Remember, we are not looking for companies that are hiring, but those that are capable of hiring you at some point in the future.

2 – Business Journal

Just about every major metropolitan area has a business journal. Here is Austin, it is the Austin Business Journal. Each week, they have a new list of companies. At the end of the year, they publish the Book of Lists. You can usually get the Book of Lists in most public libraries. Look at the best places to work and fastest growing lists. Beware that, even if a company made the best places to work list last year, that does not mean it is a great place to work. Just like with investments, past performance does not necessarily predict future results!

You may find other resources similar to the Business Journal that lists companies.

3 – LinkedIn Advanced Search

Search using LinkedIn Advanced Search for people with similar titles and certifications. For example, if you are a project manager and have a PMP certification. You would perform a search where you place “PMP” in the last name field and enter your zip code in the Postal Code field.  The results would list people in your network who have PMP list in their last name field and are located near you. Make a list of companies where the people in your list work.

Perform searches using the title field. Enter variations of the title you currently have or would like to have in your next job. Add the companies you find to your target list.

4 – Public Databases

I use a resource provided by the Austin Public Library called The A to Z Databases. This is a great resource for locating small and medium size businesses. Check your library to see if it is available.

Your list is a working list and should contain 15-25 companies. You will never stop working on this list. This list should be updated monthly, even when you are happily employed.

The next step in the Target the Company and Quit Chasing the Job or the Targeted Job Search will be to research the companies on your list. I will be discussing researching these companies next week!

Are you ready to start building your list?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist