Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Networking with your past

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[1], 70% of people land their jobs through networking. Aside from your killer resume, cover letter, and portfolio, there is no greater ‘in’ than someone who is already ‘in’. It’s intimidating to reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, especially when you’re asking for a something that only benefits you. In this case, it’s okay to be a little selfish, but it’s also crucial that you approach the person in the correct and appropriate way.

Depending on how well you know your contact, directly asking for a job can be aggressive and even create tension with that person. There’s a better approach. Email them and ask about how they got into their position, or ask for some feedback on working at the company. Be sure to showcase your interest and craving for a job with their company in the email. Show that you’ve done your research and that you are truly passionate for an opportunity there. It doesn’t hurt to give value statements on how you can benefit the company as well.

Sending an email gives your contact time to prepare a response. If you can, try to schedule a meeting with this person. It’s more personable, and it will help build that relationship for the future. If all goes smoothly, your contact will be willing to share prospective job opportunities and give advice on how to get hired.

Always have a business card ready to give the person you’re meeting with, that way they have your contact information and a better chance to remember you down the road. You should always write them a thank you card afterward to express your gratitude.

If there are no current opportunities with the company, you still want to build a relationship with your contact. You need to periodically stay in touch with this person because you never know when you’ll need their help again. It’s also easier to give a reference when they know you more personally. Don’t limit yourself to this one contact! Build a networking relationship with anyone who could help throughout your career. It’s not always what you know, but who you know.

Bonus Tip: There’s also a great networking asset right at your fingertips! LinkedIn is an excellent way to connect with people you’ve worked with/met in the past. Contacting someone on there is easy, accessible, and professional. To give yourself an extra boost, ask people to write a recommendation on your LinkedIn page. It’s a great way for potential employers to learn about you beyond your resume, and it helps you stand out in the job search.

Have more questions on networking? Feel free to comment below or contact one of our recruiters. Find the closest office to you at


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