Your job search networking is going well. You’ve reached out to several colleagues who have provided leads to people who might be able to help you find and land your dream job.
You have a couple of choices for the next step. You can reach out to the lead directly or ask for an introduction.
My preference is to ask for an introduction. I would much rather talk with someone who has been recommended by a person I already know than to attempt to talk with someone who doesn’t know me at all. LinkedIn offers their introduction form for just this occasion.
When requesting a LinkedIn introduction, you might ask your colleague to tell you something about the person you are being introduced to. What are their interests? What makes them a good contact for you? They can provide the other person with a few lines of information about you, as well. This can get the conversation started before you even click a send button.
The same introduction strategy works in email and even in person.
How to obtain leads
The best way to receive leads is to give them. One of my friends is a great example of this. Missy Ohe is a dynamic and inspiring public speaker and hands down the best networker I’ve ever met.
Her philosophy – and that of her local networking group Connection & Training Central (CTC) as well as national networking groups such as Business Networking International (BNI) – is that getting leads is important, and giving them is more important. Generosity of spirit is an attractive trait. When you give a lead without expectation of receiving anything in return, you set yourself on a track for good business karma.
The opposite is also true. If the only time you give leads is when someone has already given you one, your reputation will suffer. As the result of her wildly enthusiastic and generous lead sharing, Missy has become one of the most connected people in her universe. If I need to meet someone local, she’s the person I turn to first because chances are, she already knows them.
This same philosophy holds true on LinkedIn. You will run across LinkedIn profiles with a “LION” designation. This person is a “LinkedIn Open Networker.” They often have thousands of connections and are worth connecting to if you want to enlarge your circle of connections quickly.
To find these uber-networkers, search on LION in the search field at the top of your LinkedIn profile. Most will connect with all who request it.
Should you become a LinkedIn Open Networker? Here is an article that analyzes the pros and cons.
If networking is the obstacle between you and your dream job, contact me today.
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Image courtesy jannoon028 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.