Boost your Job Search or Career Development with these 5 groups of people

In this post you will learn what kinds of people are the most effective groups to get in contact with. I’m sure there are several more but I believe that these five are the first ones you should be looking at.

 

1. Human Resources

This is very obvious as these are the people that manage the whole process when it comes to hiring somebody. If you can get in touch with HR people and they think of you when there is a new opening, you have a great advantage compared to your competition.

Where to find them?

First and foremost you can look at the job descriptions and many of them will have their names on it. Unfortunately the trend moves away from putting names of people on job adverts. Instead more and more of the ads only have a button that says “Apply”. No big deal, there are several more places you can find them.

In case you can’t find out who the person in HR for a specific job or in a company is from the job ad, I suggest you head over to LinkedIn. Based on experience I found almost everybody on LinkedIn and in those cases I did not, most of the time I spelled their name wrong.

On LinkedIn you can either search in the generic search bar at the top or go to the advanced search. Type in your targeted company and search for “HR”, “Human Resources” or “Recruitment”. These searches should give you a bunch of results.

A very important place to meet them is much neglected these days. Face to Face. Go to recruitment conferences, HR summits, and other HR gatherings and you will meet tons of new faces that have great chances to get you your next career challenge. Go to Google and type in: {Your town} Human Resources Event or {Your town} Recruitment Event or something similar and you will find plenty of places to go.

How to get in touch with them?

If you are getting in touch with them because of a vacany, tell them in the phone call or in the email. The more reasons or references you can give why you get in contact with them, the better.

In case of a vacany call them! If you call the Recruiter or HR person before you send the CV, you are ways ahead of your competition. Ask some details about the position that you need to know. Ask about what they excpect from the perfect candidate and how far they are in the recruitment process.

Word of caution: Please, please don’t call every single day once your sent in your CV. You annoy the hell out of the HR or Recruitment person and seem extremely desperate. That’s the last thing you want. If you are in the process you can call once a week, if you are further in the process, maybe twice.

If you are casually linking yourself with somebody on LinkedIn make sure your message is good and most importantly relevant and in context. Never send a connection request just with the generic text that LinkedIn provides for you. Also don’t just write you would like to connect if that person has no clue who you are. Refer to something that you saw on their profile, something mutual or in case of a vacancy, to this one. Here are some examples:

 

Hi Marry

I read a lot about {Company} in the last few weeks and it seems you have a very compelling company culture. I’d like to connect with you to see if there might be any opportunities in the future where I can bring in my expertise.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Hi Perry

As you mentioned on LinkedIn you are interested in connecting with IT professionals. Therefore I’d like to connect with you. Maybe my skillset and personality could be of interest to you in the future.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Hi Anthony

I saw on LinkedIn that we share some mutual contacts in the Finance industry. I am an Investment Banking expert and maybe there is a chance that we could benefit from each other in the future.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

2. Decision Makers in your industry

These can range from Project Managers, Senior Professionals up to CEOs. Basically all people that have the power to hire you. This group is probably the most important one of all the seven. They are called Decision Makers for a reason. These people will decide if you get a job or not, not HR. Human Resources does play a big part in the recruitment process but the final GO has to come from the Line Manager which is your potential boss or bosses boss.

How to find them?

Some of them are mentioned on the job adverts but this trend is going away as they want to be less and less the first person a candidate talks to. This is a great chance if you know how to get in touch with them behind the scenes.

LinkedIn probably offers the most chances to find them. In the advanced search you can filter for industries, type in company names and titles. As an example just try the company you would like to work for ex. Google, Apple, IBM, you name it and type “VP” or “Head” into the Title field. You can also type in keywords to refine your search if you are working in a specific Technology for example.

Face to Face meetings still are the most effective way to build a real relationship. Find out where the decision makers hang out. Which conferences, events, summits are they attending? Google some phrases like {Your industry or expertise} {Your town} Event and see what comes up.

How to get in touch with them?

If they are still mentioned on a job ad, congratulations, you just found a direct way into the heart of the employment process. Try to call them directly or via the switch board, if you can’t get hold of them send an email. You can ask the same questions that have been mentioned in point one above and also any other questions that are of interest to you.

On LinkedIn when you connect you could say something like this:

 

Hi Mark

I saw on LinkedIn that we share some mutual interests and work in the same industry. I’d like to expand my network and therefore would be very glad to connect with you.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Hi Stephen

I read your recent posts in the Java Development Group and would like to connect with you. Maybe we could benefit from each other in the future.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Hi Jane

Your Answers to some technical questions in the Q&A section of LinkedIn were impressive. I’d like to connect with you and see if we could benefit from each other in the future.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

 

Side note: If you don’t know the Q&A section from Linkedin already, check it out here http://www.linkedin.com/answers?trk=hb_tab_ayn

 

3. Recruiters within Agencies

Now this might differ depending on country and industry but I generally think Recruiters are great people to have in your network (not just because I am one of them). If the recruiters are good they know the market well and are aware of who is hiring which profiles. They also might know influential people in their industry and expertise and are the perfect strategic partner to have on board. If you build a solid relationship you might be able to leverage their contacts for you.

How to find them?

Recruiters are of course found within Recruitment Agencies. They are on LinkedIn, on the job ads and some are also attending local networking and industry events. Go there, type in the search phrases on LinkedIn and connect with them in a similar way as mentioned above.

How to get in touch with them?

First of all you have to understand the Recruiters. Recruiters are not Mother Theresa and will generally only connect with high potential or highly skilled individuals as this is where the money flows. You need to understand that you might only be of interest to a Recruiter if you have a “perfect” skill set and CV. Not many candidates have it and this is one of the reasons why you normally won’t hear so much from the Recruiter if you applied for a position if you are not the perfect 100% match.

You must find a way to connect with them and offer value. You can do this by helping the Recruiter to find potential candidates that he can place with a client or provide some good leads. If you are active in the job market and looking for a job, you stumble upon openings, other candidates and hiring managers all the time. Make sure you store all the information and provide it in a valuable way to the Recruiter. By valuable I mean the closer to a potential business deal the information gets the Recruiter the better.

Hiring Managers names are the holy grail for Recruiters. If you can provide the name of a Hiring Manager that just started recruiting for a hot position (well paid, hot spot location, etc.) the Recruiter will be more than glad to connect with you.

Also highly skilled and easily placeable candidates are a very interesting resource you can provide. Furthermore any information about companies that are relocating in the area of the Recruiter, massive new projects with possible contact information about the responsible people and other industry knowledge can be passed on in small pieces.

Here are some ways to connect with Recruiters on LinkedIn while providing value:

 

Hi James

I have been on interview yesterday with XY at IBM but the job is not what I am looking for. I thought you might be interested in this lead that they are currently hiring. Feel free to get in contact with XY directly.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Hi Phil

My former boss XY at Google is currently hiring. I don’t know if you are working with them already but he mentioned that he has a hard time finding the right people.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

4. Anybody working for a company you are interested in

First of all, just because a company apprears in the News a lot and develops amazing products does not automatically mean it’s great to work there. It might but it does not have to. So why not find out a bit more about your targeted company or maybe even about the department?

If you want to work for ex. Google, it’s advantageous to know what their employees are saying about the company. Get in touch with some current or former employees of the company. Or even more specific from the department you want to work in or Technology sector.

How to find them?

The easiest way to find them is through LinkedIn as you can search for people at specific companies. Go to advanced search and type in the company you are looking for and the location you are targeting. You can refine your search if you put in skills that you are looking for. Ex. Java, .NET, GxP, US GAAP, etc.

How to get in touch with them?

Once you found the relevant people you can scroll through the results and pick the people that appeal to you the most and you think could be beneficial to you. To connect with them you can send them a message similar to these:

 

Dear Mary

I am also a .NET expert like you and would like to expand my network. If an opportunity opens up at company XY in .NET Development I would be very interested in learning more about it.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Hi John

We are both working in Chemical Engineering and I heard many great things about company XY. If an opportunity at company XY arises I would be very interested in learning more about it.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

5. Industry peers

Industry peers are basically all people that share the same industry and position like you. The mutual interests and experience are a great way to connect over. They can be your extended ears and eyes about job openings, hiring situations, company information and general inputs.

How to find them?

These people are generally very easy to find as they hang out at the same places as you do in your professional life. Industry events, expertise events and other related gatherings. Attend these events regularly and connect with them. Hand out business cards, connect on LinkedIn and other media.

Also a great place to find them is good old LinkedIn. Go to advanced search and tick your industry. Refine your search by typing in your expertise, position and location.

How to get in touch with them?

This is very similar to the 4th group mentioned above. You can easily connect over mutual interests, experience, expertise and industry. Let them know that you are potentially interested in new challenges if they arise and boost your career. Here are some examples to connect on LinkedIn:

 

Dear Jason

We are working in the same industry and seem to have similar positions. As I am always interested in sharing knowledge maybe we could benefit from each other in the future.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

Dear George

Based on your LinkedIn profile I saw that we work in similar positions. I’m very interested in sharing knowledge and new challenges to boost my career and maybe we could benefit from each other in the future.

Best Regards

Daniel

 

As mentioned above there might be many more types of people to connect with that can help with your career but in my opinion these five types are the most effective ones. Always remember when you try to connect with people offline or online that it should not be about you in the first place but about them. The magical question is “How can I help you” and not “How can you help me?”. And please, if you ask people the question “How can I help you” or tell them “Let me know if there is anything I can help you with”, MEAN IT! Don’t just tell but never deliver. If they ask you for a favor, evaluate how much effort it will take from your side, how much it can help you and then give a honest answer.

 

Do you want to master your interviews? Would you like to know exactly how to build relationships to the right people to create your dream CAREER? Check out the CAREER Academy!

 

What do you think are the best people to connect with? Let me know in the comments!