Too often, as you are networking for your job search, you miss out on new contacts and opportunities because the contacts you made don’t know how to reach you or don’t know if you’re still looking!
You may have connected with someone 15 minutes ago, or 6 months ago and suddenly a position or referral pops into their mind but they don’t know how to reach you.
You may not have given them a card, or your contact information in some other form. You may not have followed up your conversation with them with an email. And if some time has gone by, they may assume you landed in a new job already and aren’t interested in leads any more.
What a lost opportunity!
Don’t let it happen to you. Here are some suggestions to make sure you don’t miss new contacts, and job opportunities in that way.
Contact Info is Critical – Having business cards with your personal email address and phone number is exceptionally helpful to give to people you talk to so they know how to reach you. Putting your contact information on your LinkedIn profile helps tremendously in case they try to find you and reach out to you that way. Don’t make them use the LinkedIn message services, but put your email directly in your profile so they can contact you directly.
Better, however, is not to put the onus on them, but take responsibility yourself. Be sure to get contact information from everyone you talk to. Let them know you’d like to send them a Thank You note by email for their time, and let them know of updates along the way. Follow through, send them a Thank You note after you’re conversations with them, and include your contact information for them to reconnect any time anything may come to mind.
Periodically Reconnecting Produces Results – It’s not unusual for someone to come across a possible referral or job opportunity for you, but think… it’s been weeks since we last connected, you’ve probably found a job by now. So they don’t let you know about it. Or, they misplaced your contact information and don’t know how to reach you. Periodically getting back in touch with them helps you capture some of those opportunities.
A phone call every few weeks is ideal. Be deliberate about developing a lasting relationship, with a goal of finding ways you can be of value to them as well. In the process, let them know you are still interested in hearing any ideas, advice, leads, or referrals. It reminds them to continue following up if something arises.
Many job seekers have found great success in sending out a periodic email to all their contacts updating them on their search. Some points to make it successful:
- Keep it brief. No more than a couple of paragraphs. Don’t go into minute detail about your search or what you’re looking for
- Give them a sense that you’re vigorously pursuing your search and not just waiting by the phone for their call. Mention interviews and networking meetings you’ve had in the last month.
- Let them know you’re still interested in hearing about new opportunities, and would be grateful for any additional contacts that might be worthwhile for you to connect to. Job leads are great, but new connections are equally valuable.
- Make sure to include your contact information so that they have it handy
- If you do it as a mass email, be sure to put all your intended contacts in the BCC field of your email so they don’t all see the long list of other recipients as well.
I regularly hear from people that do this every 4 to 6 weeks that is the biggest resource of new contacts and job leads. Additionally, even from people that have no new referrals, they receive encouraging emails in reply. When you’re trying to keep your attitude as positive as you can during your search, it helps to get a number of emails with encouraging words!
Making sure ALL of your networking contacts know how to reach you, and know you’d like to continue receiving additional leads and referrals, will greatly improve your job search effectiveness and make sure opportunities are not lost!