Monday, March 16, 2020
How to Get a Job Without Connections
How to Get a Job Without Connections Networking is probably the number one way to get yourself a job if you are looking. Referrals account for nearly 40% of all hires- and referred employees often get jobs quicker and make more money out of the gate. But what if you donÃ¢â¬â¢t have anyone to refer you to a particular company or within a particular industry? If this is the case, then youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to figure out how to get a job without connections. Luckily, weÃ¢â¬â¢ve got the right information to accomplish that. So, what do you do if you donÃ¢â¬â¢t have any inside connections? What if youÃ¢â¬â¢ve moved to a new city and your social circle is nonexistent at the moment? What if youÃ¢â¬â¢re fresh out of college and you didnÃ¢â¬â¢t network as well as you may have wanted? DonÃ¢â¬â¢t worry. Even when you donÃ¢â¬â¢t know anyone, getting a referral that lands you an interview is a lot easier than you think.Message mutual friends on social mediaFacebook is clearly the dominant social media outlet, and itÃ¢â ¬â¢s likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. As such, itÃ¢â¬â¢s a surprisingly great resource for finding employment leads. Your suggested friendsÃ¢â¬â¢ list is a potential job referral gold mine. You can also use the search function on Facebook in clever ways to aid in your new career quest. Find individuals by the city they live in, where they went to school, which friends you both have in common, as well as where they work.I suggest mixing and matching a few of these filters.Start off with finding people that work at the company youÃ¢â¬â¢ve been eyeing, and also went to the same university as you.Then transition to friends of friends that work where youÃ¢â¬â¢d like to apply.If you come up empty-handed with either of those combinations, just search for people by workplaceThe biggest hurdle with seeking job referrals, particularly if youÃ¢â¬â¢re an introvert, is reaching out to someone that you barely know. It seems intimidating (maybe even a bit rude) to mes sage someone youÃ¢â¬â¢re unfamiliar with, but itÃ¢â¬â¢s actually in their benefit to have you brought onto the team. Many companies have lucrative referral programs that incentivize current employees to suggest new hires.When striking up a conversation with someone you barely know or donÃ¢â¬â¢t know at all, remember not to jump head first into a sales pitch Ã¢â¬â be tactful. Break the ice by bringing up a commonality. Build a relationship before you solicit them for a job.Scan their Facebook page and see what pages they follow, what music or movies theyÃ¢â¬â¢re interested in, anything that will make the inevitable questioning about their work much more acceptable.Open up with a message like this:Ã¢â¬Å"Hey there, I saw that we both know [mutual friend]. I also noticed youÃ¢â¬â¢re into the same [musician, book, movie] as I am. ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s awesome, I love them! I donÃ¢â¬â¢t mean to bother you, but I was curious if youÃ¢â¬â¢d be interested in chatting for a bit about [company]? WheneverÃ youÃ¢â¬â¢re available, of course. No rush. I was looking to apply there and I wanted to get your thoughts on a few things before I sent in my resume. IÃ¢â¬â¢d love to know what you thought about [album, novel, ending of movie] too! Thanks so much.Ã¢â¬ Always be mindful of how aggressive youÃ¢â¬â¢re coming off. Your main goal is to build a bridge with a prospective colleague. If you donÃ¢â¬â¢t receive a response as quickly as youÃ¢â¬â¢d like, be patient and never be too pushy.Reconnect with your universityÃ¢â¬â¢s alumni networkUniversity alumni networks arenÃ¢â¬â¢t just for reconnecting with old college flames or long-lost roommates, theyÃ¢â¬â¢re an ideal resource for job referrals. College is, after all, your first major networking pool and reaching out to a fellow university alum is a lot more comfortable than, say, random Facebook users. You already share a common sense of identity. Think of your alma mater as an extended group of potentia l colleagues.Many of these networks are designed with the specific purpose of helping students advance their careers. If youÃ¢â¬â¢re still in school, head to the career center on campus. They often maintain large databases of alumni information, so see if theyÃ¢â¬â¢re able to get you in contact with recent graduates.Scope out the universityÃ¢â¬â¢s website and find the alumni section. In this digital age, colleges often utilize some form of external platform that you can log into. You should have access to these areas for a lengthy period of time after graduation, but itÃ¢â¬â¢s simple to sign back up if youÃ¢â¬â¢ve been out of school for a while.Additionally, college career centers host job fairs and similar networking events that are open to the public. Consider attending one whether you live near your old school or youÃ¢â¬â¢re in a new city.Scour Linkedin for employeesHopefully, youÃ¢â¬â¢ve been diligently growing your LinkedIn network. If you havenÃ¢â¬â¢t, well the n, open a new browser tab and either build your profile or start expanding your network immediately. LinkedIn is hands down your best chance at securing a job referral from someone that actually works in the career field your applying to. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s perfect for when you absolutely, positively donÃ¢â¬â¢t know a single person that can refer you for a job.Follow these steps:Search LinkedIn for the job you want.If you already have a profile, browse your first and second-degree connections.Research what you can about the company and find someone currently employed there (either inside or outside your LinkedIn network).Politely introduce yourself and try to set up a meeting over coffee or lunchAsk specific questions related to their business.Once youÃ¢â¬â¢ve found a contact in your industry, try and set up an Ã¢â¬Å"informational interviewÃ¢â¬ . This is where you field questions about the nature of the company and their particular position. Not only will you gain valuable insight i nto the business, if you impress the contact well enough, you have an opportunity to be referred for the position you want.You can be far more direct with your LinkedIn pitch as opposed to the Facebook example from earlier.Ã¢â¬Å"Hello [LinkedIn Contact],IÃ¢â¬â¢ve been following the work of [company] for some time now and IÃ¢â¬â¢m considering submitting my resume for [position]. If you have a moment, I was interested in asking a few questions regarding the application process. It would be great to get an insiderÃ¢â¬â¢s perspective on [company product] as well. Were there any issues that arose with that project? Has it been successful? I appreciate your time. I look forward to finding out all that I can about [company].Ã¢â¬ An added benefit of cold-emailing employees like this is that its good practice for when you finally reach the interview stage. Even if you arenÃ¢â¬â¢t able to set up a meeting, that person is likely to tell you how to get in touch with someone that can assist you. Ultimately, thatÃ¢â¬â¢s what youÃ¢â¬â¢re trying to accomplish.Join a meetup websiteWhatÃ¢â¬â¢s better than a networking event? I know, youÃ¢â¬â¢re probably thinking anything is better than a networking event. However, there are a handful of websites out there that make networking much more tolerable.These sites are perfect for chatting with professionals with inside information about your industry and meeting people that can refer you to recruiters:Meetup Ã¢â¬â Perhaps the largest networking website out there. Meetup has a dedicated job search page to help you find business socials in your areaEventbrite Ã¢â¬â Used by organizers to promote, plan, and even sell tickets (if necessary) to area eventsEventful Ã¢â¬â An online calendar and local event tracking website that includes a networking categoryReddit Ã¢â¬â Ã The /r/meetups page on Reddit primarily organizes social networking events, but you never know who you might run into.There are a few things to keep in mind when joining a networking website. Be wary of only mingling with other unemployed people. YouÃ¢â¬â¢re there to find work and neither of you are in a position to help one another at the moment.Events with low attendance can also be an issue, particularly if youÃ¢â¬â¢re in town with a small population. Try not to waste your time if it doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t seem worthwhile.Avoid sites like Craigslist when looking for gainful employment. While it may help with an entry-level job search, you run the risk of being scammed. I once attended what I originally thought was a networking event which turned out to be a bizarre attempt to pitch multi-level marketing (read: pyramid scheme) to the few confused individuals that showed up.Getting a job referral doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t have to be about who you know. It just takes a little initiative.About the Author:Ã Lauren McAdams is a career adviser and hiring manager at ResumeCompanion. SheÃ¢â¬â¢s been quoted by sites like Forbes, Huffingt on Post, and TechRepublic. When sheÃ¢â¬â¢s not busy helping job seekers, sheÃ¢â¬â¢s sipping on coffee or a glass of wine Ã¢â¬â depending on the time of day of course.