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How to Tap Your Own Network

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So we are asked all the time what is the best way to tap your own personal network for help in getting a job.

Below is a simple how-to guide that might help you in your search.

1) Other than the usual spell check, spell check, spell check and make sure your grammar is 100% on point, you should know your audience.  Simple to some but you wouldn’t address a CFO as you would a former college Buddy.  And some people do.  We’ve viewed introduction and referral letters that sound like someone just left a bar at 2am!  Also, I always encourage candidates to add something current and relevant to the audiences business.  This makes them more apt to open, respond and of course answer.  You’re building a great dialog and showing that you are interested in their business and that you are current with what’s cooking in the workplace.

2) Remember that building your network no matter where you are at in your career has a lasting imprint.  People should always stay connected with past colleagues and friends.  They should do so even if they are not in need.  This is the balance to make sure people in your network just don’t think it’s a “take relationship”.  They want some “give” too. The give is what’s going to keep the door open for future inquires and fuel their advice.

3) What’s also smart is to understand the appropriateness around follow up and contacting.  Most people do not want to get a barrage of messages or contacts throughout their day.  Set up expectations and know when tapping your personal network becomes badgering people.  Everyone wants to help (hopefully) but just make sure you are not asking others to do the work.

4) Finally, yes I’m biased on this one, but always be looking for a better job to advance your career.  What I mean is never get comfortable in one position. Keep tight with your network to understand who is moving where.  Also to stay the most current on your skills set. There is no doubt that by just doing this in your day-to-day work place, you will be one of the more active, noticeable candidates who will be tapped for a job.  You’re increasing your attractiveness to other firms by staying as a leader in your marketplace.

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