I Get By With A Little Help From My Friend
(What? You still question the value of relationships in getting that job?)
True story (mostly)–my friend, the nuclear engineer (really) worked 15 years for a power company. She then applied for the VP HR job at a major entertainment company (again, really). She got the job. Was it:
a. Her nuclear engineering degree?
b. That she’s smart and personable?
c. That she had experience in HR and community outreach at the power company?
Did I mention that:
d. Her friend, a senior manager at that entertainment company, told her about the opening before it was posted and opened a couple of doors for her?
Which factor do you think helped most in getting the interview? ?
You shouldn’t pick your friends for the doors they can open, but you can build relationships who will be glad to help you.
Let’s face it. There are roughly a million people who can do your dream job and a lot of them are slinging their resumes to the same corporate recruiter as you are. What can give you an edge over the other 999,999? It’s the time you spent speaking with the company’s assistant controller at the association networking breakfast; or the time you referred a candidate to your favorite search consultant when you weren’t even looking for a job; or your daily chat with that person in the elevator who you’ve come to know (her bestie happens to be the Lead Business Analyst at a local ‘Best Places to Work’ company).
Relationships alone won’t get you the job—you still need the skills, experience and attitude—but relationships will let you know about hiring plans and job openings before they are published, and help get you an interview. In a time when hiring managers get hundreds of resumes for an opening, getting an interview may be the key challenge in your job search.
Have you heard the expression ‘making your own luck’? So, make your own luck—make acquaintances and build relationships rather than be a stranger; and don’t put it off.
Many will suggest that you join a professional association and be active on a committee. That’s good advice, but let me offer two steps you can take today to start building relationships:
- Go to http://justinbradley.com/about-us/leadership/ and connect with a JustinBradley Recruiter or Research Associate.
- Next time you’re in an elevator, instead of staring straight ahead in silence, ask the stranger next to you how his day is going.
(For current job listings and to sign up for alerts, visit JustinBradley’s new Jobs Page!)