I’m helping an acquaintance find a job. While he’s sharp and has been successful, he’s not sufficiently engaged in his job search, even after six months.
Basically, he had been just going through the motions. He:
- Has a long elevator speech,
- Wrote a generic resume and incomplete LinkedIn profile,
- Contacted his twenty-five best business friends a couple of times,
- Met about a dozen new people locally, and
- Talked his way into interviews with only two local companies that he’d like to work for, both of which are long shots.
He had not been working even twenty hours/week on his search…until now.
I helped my friend prepare a job search WORK plan with specific tools and actions as well as specific goals (just like a business).
Twelve Steps toward NetWORKing for a Job
Here are the basic steps to improve his search…and yours. To get started, you need to follow these 12 steps that my friend and I developed for his rejuvenated job search:
- Elevator speech, with situational variations.
- Résumé with positioning, differentiation, personality, and support. Ditto for LinkedIn including recommendations and examples of his thinking and writing.
- Bio personalizing the résumé.
- One page networking handout including positioning, differentiation, key titles at best known companies worked for, and target industries and companies.
- Phone message to deliver personally or leave on voice mail.
- Email networking cover note offering help as well as asking for help and providing specific guidance about your positioning, differentiation, and objectives.
- Thank you email with an offer to provide value to those with whom you are networking.
- Interesting email/letter to potential employers and recruiters which sells your positioning and differentiation with minimal support.
- List including contact information of everyone you know who possibly could help you even indirectly.
- Contact plan of whom you will call and email and when you will follow up and follow up and follow up and…
- Schedule: What specific date each of these efforts in the contact plan will be accomplished.
- Numeric goals to be tracked weekly: Examples: How many people will you:
- Talk to.
- Send emails to with bio, one-page networking document, and/or résumé.
- Provide updates.
- Send communications to potential employers and recruiters.
- See in person for networking.
- Interview with, on the phone or in person.
I suggest that you start with the following targets and see if you can beat them.
- In person: See at least one person daily for at least twenty minutes each (a meeting not just a quick exchange of greetings).
- Via phone: Have conversations with at least 4 people daily, not voice mails…not gatekeepers (although they are valuable).
- Via email: Send targeted emails to at least four people daily.
- Measure your accomplishments vs. your goals weekly and make adjustments accordingly. It helps to report these to a mentor.
If you want a new job, you need to do the WORK in NetWORKing.
This post was contributed by MENG member Richard Sellers, Chairman Emeritus of MENG and founder of
Demand Marketing consulting.
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