Step 1: Know Why you’re networking
“Networking” can often be a dirty word.
Especially if you’re introverted or new to an industry, it can feel like a sketchy or intimidating path to land a job.
But know that the true goal of networking isn’t just to meet random people or collect business cards - instead, it’s to leverage the power of human connections to become more than just a resume. To pursue a life-changing opportunity by showcasing your full abilities, not just an online application.
So don’t be deterred by your preconceptions. Instead, read on to see how you can network in an authentic way to score a job you truly love.
Step 2: Target the Right People
Old-fashioned networking (going to mixers, “networking events,” etc.) is a total crapshoot:
Will the right person show up?
Would you even recognize them if they did?
And will you actually get a chance to speak with them if everybody else has the same intention?
So skip this networking “lottery” and focus on connecting with the two kinds of people who give you the best odds to land a job you love:
Managers looking to hire right now
People at the companies hiring right now
Since those are the people who can either hire or refer you TOMORROW, those are the people you should be talking to TODAY.
Not just the random person who happens to be standing in line at the mixer’s snack table… ;)
Step 3: Connect in the Right Places
Once you know exactly whom to target (people who have the power to get you an interview ASAP), it’s time to connect with them right where they are - LinkedIn.
Here’s how to find them:
Start with the hiring manager of the job you’re most excited about. For instance, if you’re looking at a BizOps role at Slack, try searching for “business operations” and filtering for people who work there. Right away, you’ll see the Director of the BizOps team there.
And then, because you want to also find people who can refer you, try looking for 2nd degree connections there or people who went to your school. Either way, these are insiders who can 10X your chances of getting an interview with a single shout-out to the recruiter.
Step 4: Reach Out the Right Way
Even with a great resume, you can still get rejected if you fall into these typical traps:
You’re only applying to the most famous companies
With a .2% acceptance rate (vs. 1% on average), only applying to companies like Google is a recipe for never getting an interview; try applying to a broader set of companies to accelerate your progress
You’re not submitting a cover letter
While many recruiters don’t read cover letters, the recruiters who do care deeply about them; use my cover letter template to produce a personalized, powerful letter in just 10 minutes
You’re applying too late
Step 5: Did You Get a Referral?
By far, the single biggest predictor of whether you’ll get an interview is whether you got a referral.
That’s because having someone on the inside advocate for you transforms you from an outsider (i.e., easy to reject) into a member of the tribe (i.e., friends don’t reject friends!).
And the stats don’t lie - you’re 10X more likely to succeed with a referral than just applying online.
So learn how to get a referral, even if you don’t know anyone inside your desired company!
Step 6: Did You reach out to the hiring manager?
Lots of candidates reach out to recruiters. After all, aren’t they the person who controls your career fate?
While it’s true that recruiters can be the gatekeepers to an interview, they’re also typically juggling 10+ jobs at any time.
Which means that they don’t really care about finding the perfect candidate for any given role. And so they’re unlikely to invest time in getting to know all of the thousands of candidates applying for all their openings.
Whereas the hiring manager (i.e., your future boss) is often only hiring for one role. And so she cares a lot about finding the exact right candidate - especially because she’ll still be stuck with you long after the recruiter has moved on!
Which is why reaching out to her is way more important than contacting the recruiter. And here’s exactly how to find hiring managers looking for great talent right now!
Step 7: Did You follow-up?
So you reached out to the hiring manager. And to get referrals. But did you follow-up?
If not, you’re leaving money on the table.
That’s because many people don’t respond to the first email they receive - but WILL respond to subsequent messages.
Whether that’s due to missing your first message, being impressed with your persistence, or just plain guilt, follow-ups flat out work.
So be sure to grab Boomerang and set follow-ups for all your emails. And never let a golden opportunity slip through the cracks again!
Bonus step: Take the Course
If you want to really maximize your chances of getting interviews, check out my online course.
It’s got a step-by-step process to boost your odds at each step of the application process:
Leverage my personal resume template that’s earned offers from Google and Amazon to Udacity and 23andMe
Optimize your LinkedIn profile so you start getting interview requests straight from recruiters
Connect directly with insiders at any company in the world - from recruiters all the way to your future boss
PRO step: Get 1:1 Coaching
To break through the rejection email slog and start landing interviews, work directly with me. Together, we’ll:
Figure out exactly how your application is being perceived today - and what you need to do to start getting interviews tomorrow
Makeover your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter to boost your odds with every single application
Develop a custom networking strategy that will start producing referrals immediately