The best way to advance your job search is to talk to people. The number of conversations you have in a week is the ultimate metric you should track to get results from your job search. Well, how do I find people to talk to in this social media/email/hide-behind-the-computer era? Great question. A combination of new school tactics (technology, social media) and old school activities (phone, in-person, snail mail) are the best way to start conversations with people. And ultimately, people hire people…
Here are 10 tactics to use to connect with people you do not know and start engaging conversations:
1. Pick up the phone and call them. Yes, I said it. Dial a phone number. Not sure what number? If you know their employer, get the main number for their company and call asking to be transferred. Old school is new to you, right?
2. Perform a search engine search (Bing, Google, etc…) and see what information exists online for this person. This search will often produce other ways to connect with the individual.
3. Introduction through LinkedIn. Look up the person and see who you have in common. Determine if you can ask for an introduction through one of your mutual connections.
4. Connection through a LinkedIn Group. If you see on the person’s profile they belong to a certain open group on LinkedIn, join the group and then reach out to the person as a group member, if they have their groups setting permitting group member communication.
5. Check out if they have a Facebook personal page, Twitter account or Google+ account using the respective search function within the medium and reach out to them privately through their social media account messaging options or openly through a mention in a post. Based on your search engine search result, you might find other social media outlets where the person has a page and you can reach out through that medium, as well. (i.e. About.me, Pinterest, Vine, etc.)
6. Do they have an executive bio page on a company or non-profit website? Often there is a way of contacting the person listed on the executive bio page.
7. Are they a blogger or a business owner, where they have an “About Me” or “Contact Us” page where you can complete the form online to communicate with them?
8. Skype is an option to research if they have an account. In the initial introduction, state your compelling reason to connect in the message area to entice the person to accept your invitation and arrange time to chat.
9. Good ol’ email is fabulous. Pop their name, the company name/url and the word “email” into the search engine box and see if their email address is published online anywhere. NO dice? Change out their name with a common name, like Mary, Steve or something like that alongside the company name and the word “email” – see if an employee named Mary or Scott’s email address shows up in the results—and now you have the email format to mimic with your contact’s name. Another option if the name does not work is to use a department name with the company name and email, like sales, accounting or client services. An email address for someone in one of these divisions may work, too, to identify the corporate email format to mimic.
10. Send a personal note card or typed letter. If you know the location where they work, you can send a note or letter to get their attention. People receive 100s of emails per day now, but only 5-10 pieces of snail per day—so this is a viable option to get noticed in today’s world. You may consider express mailing it, if you want to make a splash.
In today’s world, there are so many ways to connect with someone. A lack of persistence, creativity or a compelling message are the only reasons that can prevent a connection from taking place. Never give up and keep moving your job search forward!
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