|  February 9, 2015

Networking in your job search

I always tell my clients that submitting applications without networking is like only completing 50% of the application process. Networking in your job search is a MUST and when done properly, it will land you interviews.

Today I’m going to focus on leveraging networking after you have applied for a job and want to get that application noticed.

There are 3 types of networking we’re going to cover:

  • 1st degree networking – Asking someone you know (who works at the company you applied for) to highlight your name/resume to the right contact internally
  • 2nd degree networking – Asking someone you know to pass your name/resume to someone they know who works at the company you just applied for
  • 3rd degree networking (or cold emailing) – Asking someone you don’t know to take a look at your application and consider you for their open job

networking in your job search - templates

A few rules of the road:

You’ll want to use this type of networking when it can do the most for you, so first and foremost, you must be qualified for the job you’re applying for. It’s ok to stretch a bit, but if you are stretching too much, people will feel like you’re wasting their time.

Second, you should use this type of networking after you’ve applied for the job through the companies preferred method (generally via their website). You want to stand out, but also be accommodating and never ignore the process.

Lastly, whether you’re reaching out to a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connection, you’re asking for someone to do you a favor. Approach respectfully and without any entitlement.

Now for some templates:

You can use these templates as a guide or starting point but remember that the more customized your outreach is, the better results you’ll have.

Sample email to 1st degree connection:

Hi [contact at company],

Hope all is well! [any other catch up related stuff, depending on how close you are and how often you see this person].

I wanted to let you know that I recently applied for the [job title] role at [company name]. I have prior experience with [anything relevant] and a strong interest in [industry or dept] so I think it would be a great fit.

I would really appreciate anything you can do to help get my resume to the right place or any advice you have for me to get my foot in the door.

Thank you so much!

Sample email to 2nd degree connection:

same as above but swap the 3rd paragraph to the below:

I noticed on LinkedIn that you are connected to [person at company who they know]. I’m not sure how well you know him/her, but if you are comfortable I would really appreciate you passing along my interest and resume to them.

Sample email to 3rd degree connection (aka: cold email):

Hi [contact],

I am reaching out to introduce myself and express my interest in the [job name] job which I applied for [when you applied].

I am a [describe yourself] with prior experience in [cater to the job]. After reading the job description, I am confident that my ability to [strengths catered to the job] will make me a great asset to the team.

I’ve attached my resume [if not a linkedin msg] and hope to have the opportunity to learn more about the role and share my background.

Best, [you]

Keep in mind:

  • You’ll need to leverage LinkedIn to find out if you have any 2nd degree connections or to find 3rd degree connections. I have a whole article on this here.
  • When you are emailing 1st and 2nd degree connections, always keep in mind that your email will probably be forwarded (so always be professional even if the relationship is more casual)
  • Companies rely heavily on referrals when hiring – shoot for 1st and 2nd degree connections and use cold emails as a last resort
  • When cold emailing, try to find the decision maker which will be either a member of the recruiting team or the hiring manager

What networking tactics have worked for you? Leave a comment if you have anything to add!

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