Yesterday I was at a network meeting and a guy said something like “I’m a very private guy, but I made a goal to tell 10 people that I’m in the market and what I’m looking for. Last week I found 10 people and told them.” I think its great to let others know your situation (unemployed, underemployed, whatever), but I think there might be a better way. Here’s an e-mail that I get from a buddy that is looking for a new position right now (note: the changes in blue are an attempt to keep him anonymous):
I got a call in mid-January from a recruiter who knows me. Heâ€™s looking for a president of a $10 billion Salt Lake City based maker of widgets (the kind you see at Babys-R-Us, for example). The job looks like a nice fit with my goals, and the recruiter thinks Iâ€™m a good fit with the specification. I heard last week that my resume passed the first hurdle.
My lean manufacturing course is complete and I have submitted my project assignment. The final is February 22, so Iâ€™m reviewing and preparing.
This month I am particularly interested in high level contacts at widget manufacturing companies. Example targets include WidgetPros, WidgetMakers (owned by All Things Widgets), WowzeeWidgets, Widgiwidgits, AWC (Another Widget Company) and Acme Widgetry (just purchased by Widgipro Asset Management). If you know anyone at any of these companies, please let me know.
Iâ€™ll keep you posted.
1234 Main Street
Small Town, UT 12345
Phone: (555) 555-5555
Author of “Experts In Widgets” at: http://widgetexpert.blogspot.com
Ok, here are my thoughts on this:
- I think its excellent that the guy I met yesterday personally spoke with 10 people – and he’ll probably speak with another 10 this week. But after 4 weeks how is he going to keep those 40 people (10 people each week) up to date on what’s going on? This is not a replacement for talking to people, but another tactic to keep your vast network updated.
- I really like the length – this is not going to be a pain to read and digest.
- The e-mail came personally addressed to me. I did not feel like I was getting spammed – this is a good friend of mine and I want to help him. Having my name there was an extra touch that I appreciated.
- Telling me the position and size of company of a good prospect is critical – it helps me know what to look for. Huge difference between the president of $1M company and a $10B company, right?
- In the e-mail he told me what the company does, and gave me a tangible example. This really helps me because so many company names are NOT descriptive of what the core business is, but now I can ask others who they know at widget companies.
- Knowing that he is a LEAN expert is also important because it helps me quantify his skillset. This may be a transferrable skill, further helping me understand what this dude does.
- When he says “this month I’m particularly interested in…” helps me udnerstand that part of the purpose of this e-mail is to help him. This is not a passive “we’re doing great – hope you are too” e-mail. Rather, this is a call to action.
- Telling me the names of the companies (and even parent companies) is huge – now I can ask my network for specific information. The difference between “I’m looking for manufacturing companies” and “do you know anyone that works at Company X, Company Y or Company Z” is huge – and critical.
- At the end of that last paragraph he calls me to action. Nicely, respectfully, but it is clear that he wants to know if I have contacts there.
- His signature gives me ways to get in touch with him. I already have him in my JibberJobber database – we’re buddies! But he makes it easy for me to find his number – and if I want to forward this to anyone then they can have it too.
- And, he ends with a link to his blog. This is an excellent way to remind me that he is a thought leader in something, and gives me substance that I can forward to my network. I’m sure you can include a resume with this e-mail also.
So there you go – another excellent example for you to follow. I did not do this in my job search last year but I see the value in sending this type of e-mail out to people to proactively work my network.
Who should this go out to? Everyone in your network. People care about you and your welfare. Include friends, family, past customers, past vendors, etc.
I can’t wait to get the e-mail that says “I landed my dream job! Thanks for your support during these last few months…”