3 Steps To Network Your Way Into An Interview
There are many, but here are three suggestions to network with and establish a valued relationship with a hiring authority using LinkedIn. Are they the greatest? Not sure, but the site has aided me in establishing relationships. Great platform tool for career transition BTW….
So let me set this up and hopefully the scenario will align with your experiences or will serve as a reminder in the future when working to get the desired interview for the desired outcome – work. You have seen the posting… “Company ABC still needs a Product Manager” and you feel certain you, at the very least, are a qualified talent to be considered. But you’ve sent your resume / profile into the company’s black resume hole recently, heard nothing, had no luck trying to follow up and will be damned before putting yourself through that process again. You’ve heard good things about the company, know the space and would like to interview for the position. But how to get in the front door?
Find the hiring authority.
Duh….I know you know to do that, but you would be surprised how many people don’t. So look up the company and search until you find a Director or VP of Product Marketing for the company you believe you can help. No, not yet – don’t reach out to connect by trying to convince them you are friends or have worked together in the past. Unless, of course, you are or you have, then by all means knock yourself out. But in case you don’t know and haven’t worked with them, let’s try to find a way to break the ice.
This is the easy way, but be prepared to leave a message. Write down a short and to the point message, such as: “My name is, I am a product manager for (Company B) and am interested in working for your company. I understand you are looking for a Product Manager and I would like to be considered. Can we talk or can you personally refer me to HR?”
This doesn’t always work, but at least you feel you have accomplished something by leaving a message. Maybe there is another way….
This may be a tad too syrupy, but in this market – go for the gusto. Check out books the hiring authority has read, hobbies, areas of interest, the university he/she graduated from, not-for profit activities and more… Review all and find any way to connect the dots. For instance, I reviewed a contacts profile and discovered he had recently read Confederacy of Dunces, a great book I read years ago. I had to contact this west coast technology leader to let him know that yes, even in Texas, we read books and this was a favorite of mine. I thanked him for motivating me to take it off the shelf to re-read. His response, “No problem, BTW – what do you do?” The conversation took a whole new direction. We ended up helping each other in business. and please know my intent was really thanking the guy for reminding me of a great book – that was it, and in the process…. Well, you get my drift.
Call anyone the hiring authority has recommended.
Think of the conversation:
“John, I see you have been given a glowing recommendation by Mr. Hiring Authority’
“Congratulations! I understand he doesn’t share recommendations lightly, so you must have done a fantastic job with him.”
“Sure…what do you want?”
“I could use your help. I am very interested in working with Mr. Hiring Authority and see he currently needs someone with my skills. I am trying to get to him directly – have been caught up in HR before and wondered if you could help me out?”
“Tell me what you do”
OK, so pursuing an interview with one has just turned into an interview with another – not bad. And hopefully you will still get help with your first request…if you need it.
Networking is the name of the game and the tools available like LinkedIn to provide insight can make the process easy and fun. So, treat your search like an adventure, a game – do some research, make some calls and have a good time networking to the person you need…the decision maker.