I am fortunate that I received many inquiries from people
asking my advice or council about job searches. It is a privilege to be asked
to help and I like to assist wherever I can. My selfish reason is that I want
the universe to pay it forward to my daughters when they need assistance. Does
this make me a Zen net worker?
One very good piece of practical advice I like to give is an
overlooked approach that can help your network help you. When I hear from
someone who says, I am looking for a job in communications, engineering or
finance, I always recommend that they put together a strategic networking document.
What is a strategic networking
document? This document has 9 key things in it that makes it different than
a resume. Remember, it is a tool to allow me to help you.
PROFILE STATEMENT: Describe your skill set in a simple, clear
sentence that does a great job of positioning who you are and how you are
different. Keep it to one sentence. For example, "I have the ability to build and lead cross-functional global marketing teams that succeeds by squeezing value out of every nickel
spent in marketing." Be descriptive and
demonstrate that you have something of great value.
ACHIEVEMENTS: List 3-5 successes that will help me tell your
story. These examples should help illustrate how you have already been
successful in similar positions. If you are looking for a national accounts management job, give 3 examples of how you found and closed several important national accounts for a previous employer demonstrating your record of success.
GEOGRAPHY: This section lists the geographic range of your search. Is
it national or local? Are you willing to relocate or are you only looking to work
within 100 miles of your home? This is helpful information since it allows your contacts to know if you if you only want to speak to people within a state, region, nation or globally.
TITLES: This document provides a range of titles that you believe you
are qualified for so that it helps those you reach out to understand what type
of job you could hold. Don’t put VP of Engineering if you don’t feel qualified
to do that job but do put Director of Engineering, Sr. Director of Engineering,
Manager of Engineering, Quality Assurance Manager, etc. The better I understand
what role you can fit into-the better your chance that I can help you.
TARGETS: What are the target companies in your search? If
you are really specific with 10 companies, then it is easy in Linkedin or other
networking sites to see who works there and to try and network into those
companies. If I know you are interested in a job at ConAgra Foods, I may be
able to help because I did work for them for several years. Within my network
are colleagues who still work at the company and who also know people within
the organization. If you just tell me you are interested in the food business, it
leaves me hungry for more information. Details help.
INDUSTRIES: It is useful to know that you are focused on
certain vertical or horizontal markets. A vertical market is a specific
industry (like soft drinks or wood decking) where a horizontal market could be
all distributors or all IT departments in any industry. If your networking
helper knows this, it is another way for them to search through their network
to assist you.
PROFESSIONAL STRENGTHS: This is useful where in a few
phrases or key words, I can learn what you are really good at doing. Are you a
great storyteller or do you have deep competencies in six sigma lean management
training? A few key buzz words go a long way to help me understand who you are
and what your core competencies are. Keep this really short and sweet too.
ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS: Are you looking to work for a firm
that really values market insights or that needs a hyper-creative thinker? Do
you want to work for a manager who values your extraordinary work ethic or that
appreciates your interpersonal skills? Help me understand what your dream company looks like as I search through my contacts for people to connect to you. This adds another shade to the picture
you are painting.
USEFUL CONTACTS: Who can help you? Do you want to speak to
people who are General Managers or Project Managers? Do you
need to get in front of owners of architectural firms or software coders? If you only want to talk to IT Directors, I can search for those contacts through my LinkedIn data base. Help
me help you by giving me an idea who could move your search forward?
The best way to get help from me or anyone
else you are networking with is to give them the tools to assist you. A
strategic networking document is a powerful tool that works to allow you to get
the help you need.
Hint: One more tip- can you put this into a chart or word document so that it can easily be placed in the body of an email. Make it really easy for the person you are networking with to easily read your strategic document. You can always include it as a PDF but I appreciate it when all I need to read is in the body of the email.
Make it easy for me to help you. Network strategically.
Labels: advice on networking, Marketing Moments, networking, strategic networking document