Did you know that networking is the most effective way to get you an interview, and potentially get you the job, as opposed to applying online and getting buried in the ATS with the other 300 applicants that did not make it.
Stop applying online and hoping to get a call, instead start making connections, start reaching out to people in the organization that you want to work for.
I have put together this “network for dummies” guide so you can start thinking about smart ways to network AND I have included message templates that will get you reponses.
WHAT IS NETWORKING
It is the way to meet someone online, establish a potentially professional relationship with or simply make a connection with a new person OR nurture someone already in your circle.
This is the perfect way to connect with someone you met at a career fair, conference or professional meet.
TIPS FOR NETWORKING SUCCESSFULLY
As a recruiter and hiring manager I get 30+ messages on LinkedIn in one day. These are a lot of messages to get through on top of my regular inbox with applicants that I have already established a connection with.
This influx of messages are the reason why it is so important for you to send a message that is going to be concise, professional and interesting enough that the person receiving can’t resist but to reply back.
Here are my tops tips on how to increase your chances to getting a response:
See if you already have a mutual connection
The easiest way to get a response is to already have someone you and the person you wish to make a connection with have in common.
This is super easy to on LInkedIn, when you search the name of someone you wish to connect with, there is a list of “mutual connections” and you can use that as leverage by saying you both know “Jane Doe”
This way you can ask Jane Doe to introduce you to John Smith, be sure to let Jane know the reason behind wanting to connect.
Don’t be boring
Again you need to knock it out of the park when it comes to standing out in these messages, so be sure to include a compelling subject line.
Here are some good potential examples:
- “Recent grad looking for Finance career advice”
- “Continuing our conversation from [FAIR OR CONFERENCE YOU MET AT]
- Aspiring recruiter interested in connecting
- [PERSON IN COMMON] mentioned you as a resource
Find common ground and do research
There is nothing more annoying than someone reaching out and asking how it is going to work at a company I left 5 year ago.
Do your research and get to know the person through their online presence. You can simply start by googling their name, checking out their LinkedIn profile or website if they have one. (you’d be surprised at how many professionals have a personal website)
Here is a great opportunity to also search and see if they have something in common with you, could be the same major you studied in college, same sports team fan, same home town, same volunteer interests, the list goes on and on.
This will help you stand out because it shows you are eager enough to even do basic research before connecting.
A response is not owed
Please don’t expect a response in return, remember these are all busy professionals and they do not owe you a response, often when you expect nothing it removes the entitlement from your messaging and it can me a world of difference.
It is OK to follow up
Do it the right way by waiting a week or two since initial contact.
Keep the message of the follow up short and to the point, it can be something like: “hello NAME, hope you are well. Sending you a friendly reminder in case this got buried in your messages”
The best way to keep track of who responded and how long it has been since you reached out is to have a template you can keep tabs on. You are in luck because I created a free template for you, you can download here.
Now that you know some etiquette when it comes to networking, here are some actual examples you can use as inspiration to start sending out some emails to start, grow, and maintain your network. Please be sure to replace what is in the brackets and make the message your own.
ASK FOR CAREER ADVICE – NEW CONNECTION
SUBJECT: Recent grad looking for INDUSTRY/CAREER FIELD advice
My name is [NAME] and I recently graduated from [SCHOOL YOU GRADUATED FROM] with a [MAJOR, DEGREE OR FIELD]. I found you through [HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THIS PERSON].
I am very much interested in going into [FIELD] and I would love to learn more about how to get started. Would you be able to share some insights on how or where I can learn more?
Any resources, articles or podcasts you recommend would be greatly appreciated.
SOMEONE YOU MET – FOLLOW UP
SUBJECT: NICE TO MEET YOU AT [EVENT’S NAME]
I am [NAME] and we met at [REMIND THEM OF HOW YOU BOTH MET]. I am happy to connect with you here. I really appreciated our conversation about [TOPIC OF CONVO].
I also recall you mentioned being interested in [TOPIC OF INTEREST], I found this piece of content that I thought would be an excellent read [ATTACH OR LINK TO THE SOURCE].
Anyways, how have you been since we met? How are things at [COMPANY].
And those are the best templates that I have tested with my clients that have been successful on their networking efforts.
This blog post was all about the best tips to writing effective networking messages that get responses.
I would love to hear from you, what questions do you have about networking in general? Leave your comments, questions or suggestions below.