"A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."… Proverbs 29:23

get-low
Get Low

During your search marketing career, you will likely have one or more instances where you need to seek a new position. There are plenty of posts out there about job search strategy, preparing your resume, and job interviews. This aint one of them. Instead, Im going to focus this post on a topic that Ive yet to see written aboutwho to reach out to in your network and how best to do it which should be the very first step you should take in your job search process. Ill be using myself as the illustrative example. After all, I just completed a job search that landed me at PPC Associates.

My Job Search

It was around last Christmas that I made the decision to actively seek a new position. I had created my cover letter & resume but sending these out to prospective employers was not the first thing I did. Before bombing the Internet with my job inquiries, I quietly reached out to roughly 30 people in my network that I considered not only good friends and close colleagues, but people of influence who might either know of an potential opportunity or possible have one for me.

Each person got a personalized email from me that basically said the same thing (I would strongly not recommend BCCing these types of messages):

Hello XXXXX,

I just wanted to let you know that Im beginning my job search to find the right PPC position (since that is where my greatest talents and abilities lie). Is there anyone that you know I should be talking to?

Thanks,

Todd

When writing your own message, I would use a real matter-of-fact tone and get directly to the point. Deciding to leave your job or getting laid off might be very emotional for you or you might have financial issues to deal withbut its smart to keep these issues to yourself at this stage.

Its also very important that you send these to only people you know really well. Getting such an email from someone you dont know that well or at all (I have) makes the sender come across as a real jerk. The major reason to build your business network is that at some time in the future, you might need to make use of itand somebody trying to shortcut the process probably takes other shortcuts in their professional life as well, making them undesirable as an employee / contractor.

Keep Emotions Out Of It

I believe everyone or almost everyone acknowledged my email that received it. Some offered me leads and I think I got a couple phone interviews from this effort. Whats really important is that if you go through this process and someone doesnt help you or acknowledge you, you absolutely shouldnt take it personally. The folks you reach out to really dont have any obligation to assist and its possible that you werent answered because the recipient had no ability to help. Keep you emotion out of this processyou might need that person at some future time and if you react in a negative fashion, youll kill that relationship off for good.

Also, if you have lost / left your job, its perfectly OK to Blog / Tweet / Update all your social statuses with your professional availability and what youre looking for. Its also OK to ask your network to socialize your desire for employment because youll never know who will get your message and ask for more information. I made the decision not to socialize my job search because I was still working part time with my former employer and I didnt want to put that at risk.

Ultimately, networking didnt get me my job with PPC Associates. However, proper networking strategy does get lots of people lots of jobs that arent advertised.