HIDDEN JOB MARKET (HOLIDAY) SECRETS
How to Build A Network in Twelve Days (before Christmas)
By Debra Feldman, JobWhiz, Executive Talent Agent
Your Executive Ascent...Personally Delivered. Swift, Discreet, Guaranteed.
The holiday season is ideal for re-connecting, making new contacts and strengthening
relationships. Networking is the best job search method and generates over 80% of new hires.
Constantly nurturing existing relationships and strategically developing new contacts puts you
on the inside track to plum job leads whether you are an active candidate or just want to keep
up with the market. All jobs are temporary. Your network is lifetime career insurance. Contacts
provide referrals, recommendations and invitations. Make time everyday to Network
Purposefully™ for career security. The “right contacts” are relationships with hiring decision
makers and good connectors. In just 12 days you can start your career nest egg.
On the first day… Define your networking strategy. Focus on individuals
and activities related directly to achieving personal and professional goals.
Compile list of existing contacts and research targeted new contacts among
thought leaders, authors, friends of friends, industry consultants, speakers,
On the second day… Organize contacts into action groups: meet in person
one on one, telephone visits, individual email or print notes, share a link,
article, etc., send gift, connect two contacts, invite to a live event,
recommend a virtual event or group discussion, submit a proposal for a
On the third day… Select and prioritize in person and virtual communities.
Identify a few groups or organizations to focus your efforts. Better to be an
active participant/leader in a few groups and build strong relationships. Get
involved. Schedule virtual networking into your daily calendar. Join LinkedIn
groups in your industry, for your specialty or new field you want to enter.
Participate in discussions among trade association members and within other
On the fourth day… Create a networking card. Show name, email and
preferred phone. Put a descriptive, memorable headline on the front. Bullet
your core competencies on back. Add signature block to your personal email.
Include name, headline, phone, email.
On the fifth day… Connect with contacts now. Write cards and email. Make
phone calls. Attend/schedule a live event. Participate in an online discussion.
Schedule time to network purposefully daily- email a few names, have a
phone visit, post a comment to an online discussion, attend a local chapter
meeting, etc. Repeat daily.
On the sixth day… Launch your (new) network purposefully. If you are in
transition or plan a change, identify prospective target employers. First
define your requirements (geography, responsibilities, corporate culture,
company size, market segment, competitive position, growth potential, etc.)
Research companies which match your criteria. Identify appropriate hiring
decision manager at each employer. Determine who in your network can
connect you or how you are going to introduce yourself.
On the seventh day… Conduct due diligence. Find individuals with inside
knowledge of target companies including current and former employees,
consultants, etc., read print and online publications, visit professional
association websites, check conference exhibitors and presenters, etc. Refine
your value proposition for employers based on their needs. Describe by
success story examples how you will add to profits, reduce costs or improve
process. Distinguish yourself as a first choice, go-to reliable expert. Join
additional groups to make more targeted contacts.
On the eighth day… Initiate inside contacts at each target company. You
should already be members of the same organizations, groups, etc. If not,
join the groups where the people who need to know you are members. Ask
questions and share relevant experiences and ideas. (Do not begin
conversations asking about openings.) It takes time to develop trust. You
will not get much benefit from mere transactions; you are intentionally
focusing on making new relationships. Being connected, you should hear of
potential opportunities first before public announcements. You can also
volunteer and be the preferred candidate when you identify a need before a
new position is official. This is the hidden job market; you have penetrated
it. Stay on the insider’s radar and be present for the right time to suggest
ideas, solutions, etc.
On the ninth day… Maximize social networking to increase quality contacts.
Social networks provide enormous opportunity to connect with insiders
identified from their profile content. Ask a mutual contact to facilitate an
introduction. Join the same group as a target contact; on LI you can send a
message to a fellow group member without being linked. Search to find
contacts and send a compelling introduction explaining how they will benefit
from meeting you. Check SlideShare to find industry or specialty contacts.
Connect on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Join the same LI groups. Ask
for their recommendations- crowd sourcing is one technique to discover new
trends, ideas, people to know, etc.
On the tenth day… Spot trends and increase your knowledge online. Go
beyond Linked In. Get background info from corporate websites, LI profiles
and Facebook fan pages. Search online (ZoomInfo, Google profiles, Spoke,
Twelve Days of Networking Nov. 2010
Debra Feldman, JobWhiz Page 2
Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz™, a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift,
strategic, and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate
success. Her gift for Networking Purposefully™ and expediting stalled job searches --- executed with high energy and
savvy panache -- connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Learn more about her groundbreaking
techniques that compress job searches from months into weeks leveraging online visibility and maximizing traditional
techniques. Contact Debra now at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your executive ascent!
Twelve Days of Networking Nov. 2010
Debra Feldman, JobWhiz Page 4