College to Career Calendar:Networking your way to a job offer

Posted by Interview2work on Saturday, April 29, 2017

This is the twenty-eighth in a series of blogs supporting the College to Career Calendar available for downloading at Today’s blog discusses using your network to assist in your job search.

Have you ever asked a friend for advice on where to go to purchase a product, what movie to see, or which class to take? Did you ask because you trusted your friend to make a good recommendation? The same thing happens in a job search. Hiring managers are more likely to interview and hire candidates recommended by friends, colleagues, and current employees because they trust their opinions. According to a US News report   in small companies (less than 99 employees) 14 percent of new hires came from referrals, 24 percent in medium companies (100 to 999 employees) and 27 percent in large companies ( 1,000+ employees). Of all the sources tapped by hiring managers, referrals consistently rank the highest. Our discussion today will focus on how to secure these recommendations.

Getting a referral

So how do you get a referral to a hiring manager? By having someone one they trust introduce you and then forward your resume. If you have been following the College to Career Calendar you have your resume ready to send. What about the introduction? You have a good start on this. Customize your self introduction  to showcase the skills, education, and experience for each target company.

finding people who will refer you

Send out a message on your social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) asking if anyone works for or knows someone who works for your target company. If you get a positive response, ask if they will send your introduction to that person. If they agree, send them the introduction you prepared and a few days later a copy of your resume.

Use your LinkedIn network. If you have been following our suggestions on building your LinkedIn profile  you have connected with people working at companies you are interested in. Send them messages and ask if they will introduce you to the head of the department where you would like to work. If they say yes, provide the introduction you have prepared and note that you have posted your resume on LinkedIn for easy access.

Reach out to friends, family, faculty, and college administrators who you are not connected with on social media or LinkedIn and ask if they know people in your target company. If they do, ask them to send your introduction to their contact. Provide them with a copy of your resume.

Final Thoughts

If you are not motivated by the statistics showing that securing a referral greatly increases your chances of getting an interview and job offer, perhaps understanding why people might want to be asked to connect you with a hiring manager will be motivational:

  • Many companies give bonuses to employees who refer candidates who are hired.
  • Colleges take pride in knowing their alumni are gainfully employed in their field.
  • Members of your network are flattered you trust them to help you during a job search.




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