How do you tell your network that you’re looking for opportunities without sounding desperate?
One of my coaching clients reached out to me last week with this exact question. She’d googled this question, spoke to her network and read multiple articles which all told her what NOT to do but not what TO DO.
This is completely understandable as we’ve all been in that situation where you need a new job, but you don’t want to take just any job to fill the gap – it has to be the RIGHT job.
Here’s my suggestions on how to share the great news you’re now available and ready to jump back into a role:
Get ready to have loads of coffee dates and sending individual messages.
Reach out to everyone in your network – previous managers, employers, colleagues, direct reports, industry contacts, suppliers, clients (you get the picture) and set up a time to have a coffee or a brief chat on the phone. As tempting as it is to send out a bulk email or text, do this individually and don’t forget to include a personal message. If someone reached out to you suggesting coffee and mentioned that your recent holiday looked great or you want to support them on their Movember challenge, then they’ll be more invested in making time for you!
Be really clear on your career goal.
There’s nothing worse than sitting down with someone who says they’re looking for a role and when you ask them to describe specifically what they’re interested in they say, “oh, you know me, I’ll do anything!” Bad strategy. Develop an authentic elevator pitch which outlines what role types you’re looking for, industry, specific challenge or area of interest and where you can add value. For example, “I’m looking for an Executive Assistant role where I’ll be supporting 1-2 Executives at C-level, ideally in a growing industry where I can make an impact by freeing them up to focus on developing their business” That’s pretty clear – right?
Leverage your network.
If you know that the person you’re meeting works for a business that has similar roles, or is connected to someone who is advertising, then leverage this. Don’t be afraid to be direct and outline exactly how they can help you. “Tom, I heard that the EA for the CFO at your company has just resigned, would you feel comfortable providing me an introduction to the CFO to discuss if I’d be a suitable replacement?” Being straight up and transparent will get you a lot further than a vague request for help.
Have a kick-ass up to date resume ready to go.
This might sound obvious, but your resume needs to be an organic document that you’re consistently updating. I’d have 2 versions ready to go. One that you can tailor for a specific job you’re applying for online and another one that is more generalist saved on your phone, laptop that you can send/share in one click when you’re meeting someone who can assist you. How professional would that look!
The big question I get asked is, should I broadcast my job hunting situation on LinkedIn? Hell yes – that’s what it’s there for!
I’d recommend two strategies:
1. Pop a sentence or two in the summary section on your profile with your elevator pitch
2. Be bold and write your own post about the awesome role you’ve just finished, what you’re now looking for and what you bring to the table. You never know who your network knows, and great people know great people, so get posting!
I hope this helps those of you ready to jump into a new opportunity, however if you need one last confidence booster why not take advantage of my One Shot Career Coaching Session. We’ll work together for 90 minutes and I will help you move past your limiting beliefs and develop an “I’m available and ready to work again” strategy!