Here’s a tip that will alter your job search.  It relates to how you share with your network that you’re looking for a new job.

We all know that referrals are the single best way to find a job.  But when telling your contacts that you’re seeking a new opportunity and asking your network for referrals, it has to be done with a clear call to action or your request will get you no where (other than in the Trash folder).

At a basic level, those emails often go something like this…

“Hi Bob.  I’ve begun my search for a new opportunity.  I’d like to find a _____ role in a _____ type of company.  If there are any companies or people who come to mind, please let me know.  Thank you.”

It’s really hard for the recipient to keep this person top of mind for any duration of time.  This format is presented as more of an FYI than a call-to-action for the recipient.

Here’s how you can modify it…

“Hi Bob.  I’ve begun my search for a new opportunity.  I gained ______ skills and ______ experience in my current role as _____ at ______ company.  In my next chapter, I’d ideally like to find a _____ role in a _____ type of company.  I’m wondering if you’d be willing to do me a quick favor…

Would you be willing to respond with the names of 3 people who you think I should try to get in front of to help me find my next opportunity?  

I’m not asking for any introductions (unless you want to) – I’m simply just looking for names of people right now to network with and then I’ll figure out how I can best get in front of those people.  The name of the game for me right now is networking.  So, if you’d be so kind to help me on this journey, who are 3 people who come to mind in _______ industry/field that you think I should try to get in front of?

I’d love to repay this favor to you.”

Soliciting Names vs Soliciting Referrals

Did you see the clear ‘ask’ above?  And did you see that the ‘ask’ was for names rather than for introductions?  And did you see that the ‘ask’ is its own paragraph so it stands out?

Introductions take work.  Providing names doesn’t.  This approach takes the pressure off the recipient and still gets you valuable info.  Often times, when someone provides names, they’re willing to provide an intro or help you figure out how to get in front of someone anyway.  But positioning the ‘ask’ as just for names vs intros makes a big difference in the response you’ll get.

When you’re looking for a new opportunity, the name of the game is networking and getting in front of as many people as possible so you can be top of mind.  Try asking your contacts simply just for names (not intros) and see where that gets you.

Good luck!

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