Act like a giraffe, not a turtle


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Advice to build and sustain your network.

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Act like a giraffe, not a turtle

  1. 1. B LUE M ARK P ARTNERS , L TD .ACT LIKE A GIRAFFE, NOT A TURTLEJULIE FREUND ROTHAs a former marketing executive with notable companies including Motorola and U.S.Robotics, I am passionate about using marketing principles in a job search. After findingmyself in transition multiple times, I learned effective ways to not only build an activenetwork, but also sustain being top of mind. Now as an executive recruiter and founder ofBlue Mark Partners, Ltd., the same tactics are used to build the business and strengthenclient relationships. I often speak on the topic of being found and not crawling in a shell likea turtle to “in transition groups” but was recently asked to share “Act Like a Giraffe” withyou to provide insight into:  Effectively building a network  Actively maintaining communication with your network  Successfully expanding uncovering new opportunities  Dynamically increasing your chances of being foundWhy should you act like a giraffe? To stick your neck out; to be seen among a crowd and tobe easily spotted/found. The bottom line is you want to be thought of when an opportunityfitting your skill set arises. Your network can be your extended source of leads. Whyshouldn’t you act like a turtle? Because you shouldn’t crawl in your shell, blend in nor hide.Network:A network is an interconnected system of people and can be comprised of friends, relatives,bosses you’ve worked for, colleagues you’ve worked with or have worked for you,clients/customers, suppliers, individuals who have introduced you to others, and so on. Anddon’t ignore social networking media such as LinkedIn and Facebook. A network should© 2009 Retained Executive Search Consultants 1018 Brittany Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 Julie Roth, President  1 847 433 7920  
  2. 2. B LUE M ARK P ARTNERS , L TD .always be growing and expanded exponentially. To network, on the other hand, is the act ofcommunicating with a person or a group.If we take a look at a network it could be drawn as a set of concentric circles. You’d be atthe center and those in your immediate network would surround you. But each of thoseindividuals has a network and therefore creating a larger sphere of influence. And yournetwork’s network is greater still and encompasses company executives, recruiters, andtargets you’d ultimately like to get to know. This is an expansive, diverse interconnection ofindividuals.Growing the Network:If you reach out to your network on a regular basis, you’ll be top of mind with them forleads. Growing your network will continue expanding your sphere of influence. Obtain© 2009 Retained Executive Search Consultants 1018 Brittany Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 Julie Roth, President  1 847 433 7920  
  3. 3. B LUE M ARK P ARTNERS , L TD .introductions with endorsements are the strongest way for such introduction efforts tosucceed.An example for someone in a job search might be as simple as the following email:Sidney James is a sales professional. She is evaluating new opportunities and I thought of you as someone whomight have some great advice in the healthcare industry. Ill leave it up to the 2 of you to connect, but yourcontact information is below.Sidney’s prompt follow up (within 24 hours) voice mail might be:I am following up on the email received from our mutual friend who thought you’d be able and willing toprovide some great advice. I’d like to meet with you at your convenience. What does your calendar look likeduring the next couple weeks?Then you begin building the relationship ensuring it is always a 2 way conversation askingabout them and provide something in return. Be respectful of their time during the meetingbut also be mindful that they have just invested time in you. Stay connected from that pointforward.Staying connected:Building your network is important, but it is most important to act like a giraffe, stick yourneck out and reach out to them on a regular basis in order to be top of mind with those whoalready took an interest in you and are already invested in your success.The first step in staying connected is to create and manage a contact database system. It canbe as simple as an electronic spreadsheet (such as Microsoft excel) or a contact managementsystem (such as Microsoft Outlook or your favorite iPhone app). There are moresophisticated CRM systems such as Access as well as email campaign systems includingChitahMail or CoolerMail. I’m not endorsing any specific one as long as you populate itwith your friends, relatives, business contacts and networking contacts. Capture as muchinformation as possible in addition to name, title, company, phone and address. Mobile© 2009 Retained Executive Search Consultants 1018 Brittany Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 Julie Roth, President  1 847 433 7920  
  4. 4. B LUE M ARK P ARTNERS , L TD .number and most importantly email addresses are a must. While creating this requiresstrong follow through skills and may be painful at first, it will save time in the long run proveto be the most important tool in your arsenal. Remember, though; keep it up to dateotherwise it is worthless.Once you build the database I recommend you reach out back to your network on a regularbasis. If you are in transition, every 30 – 45 days. If you are building your business, 3 to 4times a year. If you are busy and happy in a corporate role, once a year is sufficient. If youare busy and unhappy in a corporate role, step up the communication to 3 to 4 times a year.The most efficient method of communication is email although don’t forget to pick up thephone or meeting in person once in a while.Create one email and send to your complete database. Unless you’re using an emailcampaign system, just place everybody in the BCC (blind carbon copy) line. The emailmessage should be short, positive, and newsy. Refresh their memory as to your backgroundand what you seek. If in transition, attach copy of your resume. Always thank your networkfor their support and always ask how you can assist them - provide something in return.Give and get. Consider a “call to action” to obtain a response to your email and completethe 2 way conversation. This is not meant to be a self-centered Twitter message. It’s part ofan ongoing dialog.Top of Mind: A Proven InitiativeActing like a giraffe and keeping up communication with my network was recommended tome quite some time ago. Frankly, not only did it make sense, I embraced it and over timeI’ve benefitted from it. Because I reach out to my network on a regular basis I have profitedfrom generating revenue of actual recruiting assignments. Statistics show that networkingresults in over 40% of executives securing their current job. And recruiters use networking,referrals and their personal contacts to the tune of 80% to find the right candidate for theirclients. So “Act Like a Giraffe, Not a Turtle”. Stick your neck out to build your network.© 2009 Retained Executive Search Consultants 1018 Brittany Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 Julie Roth, President  1 847 433 7920  
  5. 5. B LUE M ARK P ARTNERS , L TD .Sustain an active network by communicating regularly. Be top of mind with your network tobe found. Julie Roth President BLUE MARK PARTNERS, LTD. Retained Executive Search Consultants specializing in FINDING THE EXECUTIVES THAT WILL MAKE YOUR COMPANY SUCCESSFUL. 1 847 433 7920 ▪ www.BlueMarkPartners.comThe retained executive search consulting firm, Blue Mark Partners, Ltd., is certified as a Hispanic ownedwomen’s business enterprise (WBE) through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC),the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the US. We recognizethe commitment to supplier diversity that is embraced by corporations and government agencies today, andBlue Mark Partners, Ltd. can add diversity to your supply chain.© 2009 Retained Executive Search Consultants 1018 Brittany Road, Highland Park, IL 60035 Julie Roth, President  1 847 433 7920  