1. Send out a mass email.
2. Only put an update on LinkedIn
3. Tell them you are looking for a job and can they help
4. Use a plain vanilla message
5. Close your email without offering to help them in their networking
So, what IS the best way to tell your network you are in the job market? Ask the Manager blogs about this subject and has some useful things to say.
To these, I would like to add the suggestions above and advise job seekers to contact each person in your network personally by email or phone with a message that is interesting and that they can act on.
- Tell them as specifically as possible what you are looking for: your preferred job title, mission, industry, and geographical location. For example, “I am looking for a position as a sales executive selling SaaS (software as a service) for a small to medium-sized software company in the Boston area.”
- Give them a reason why their network should be interested in helping you or hiring you: “What I do best is close high-dollar sales of complex, cutting edge software solutions and exceed aggressive quotas, like the $8M I sold on a $7.5M goal in 2011.” BTW, this is a key part of your personal / career brand!
- Tell them exactly how they can best help you in your search: “I would be very appreciative if you could give me the names of two people you may know who work in software companies in the Boston area.” And then, when you talk to those people, ask them in turn for two more names, conveying the same message about the value – your ROI – that you bring to the table.
Once you’ve got your message and your method right, develop a good way to keep track of your contacts, the contacts they refer you to, next steps, to-do items, etc.
Then, be meticulous about following up with a thank-you email or note letting your contact know you appreciated their interest and help. Tell them you’ll keep them updated on your progress. That gives you a chance to stay top-of-mind with them when you check in again in a month or two. And, of course, when you accept a job offer, be sure to celebrate your success by thanking your network personally.
Jean Cummings is personal branding strategist, job search coach, and executive resume writer who helps executives and managers in technology functions or fields get their next great jobs. Through her company, a Resume for Today, Jean has been working at the frontier of executive job search for almost two decades.
Jean is multiply certified in resume writing, interview training, personal branding, and 360 assessment. She holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Mt. Holyoke College. Prior to her career in executive job search, Jean was a teacher. She is reachable at jc@YesResumes.com.