Starting with your ‘offer criteria’ created in Step Two of our 12-Step Career Transition Process, let’s assume that your research and early networking efforts have allowed you to develop your INITIAL Target Organization List. Some of the more common reasons for an organization to make your initial List are:

  • They ‘do’ what you are good at and find to be desired employment
  • Their size and culture make them a good careerFIT for your future years of employment and location
  • They are ‘geographically desirable’
  • They’re involved with a trend in the marketplace that you find attractive

Because the approach described below will involve networking with people that you do not know YET, the dreaded ‘cold call,’ Let’s further assume that you have already created some visibility in the marketplace (see ‘wave one,’ personal contact network development) and have gained confidence in your networking skills.

This week’s session: Turning Opportunitities Into INTERVIEWS.  8:45 AM at The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison

Your next step is to begin to identify key individuals in and around your target organizations that can influence the success of your approach to those organizations.  Remembering some of your lessons learned in your initial personal contact network development…

  1. Your “A List” of people you already know (or have cause to know), have worked with, or in any way have interacted with in ‘real life.’
  2. Your “B List” is comprised of those people who can refer (or Bridge) you to more appropriate contacts in and around your target organizations.
  3. Your “C List” becomes that select network of people who can influence your getting hired, individuals that can hire you… these are individuals that you must connect with, must interact with… must build a relationship with, in order to get hired. Think of them as your MUST SEE List!

In the interest of time, phone calls are your best approach to a person.  Take the time to be prepared for a well-received, productive call.  A bit more passive approach, but often eliminating the ‘black hole of voicemail.’ Is a two-step approach. First, send a LETTER of Introduction or email, and then a few days later make a follow-up phone call. Who is it that you want to speak with?  Consider what level of connection you have (if any) to the people you want to inter-act with. Did someone give you their name, or did you research or find it online yourself – and if so, how?

The absolute best level of connection is a personal referral. If you meet with someone who gives you a name in a target company and says “use my name” – then you’re golden! The higher up the food chain your referring contact is, the better your response is likely to be.

The next best level of connection is a common group or association – for example, you both belong to the same LinkedIn industry-specific group or Professional Association, or you both went to the same college, etc. (By the way – joining LinkedIn Groups specific to your niche is a great way to find people on your target list!)

The third level of connection is simply that you share a common industry or profession. The two-step approach is essentially the same for all levels of connections … but the opening section would be modified according to which level of connection you are approaching.

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