Get your foot in the door by making a personal introduction with potential employees.
A personal introduction inside an organization is a huge advantage to someone who wants to change careers or begin a new one. In fact, referrals are the number-one source companies use to find outside hires, and over 70 percent of people find jobs through leads from others, according to LinkedIn.
Access to the right people and companies is vital for a successful career change, especially as the marketplace becomes more challenging. A few moments spent connecting people in your network is a powerful act of kindness.
Not only will positive things come back to you when you extend a kind introduction, but you may also significantly help someone gain employment and improve their life. Introductions require no money and are simple to do. Here are a few ways to do them:
1. Look for opportunities.
Put up your antennae to become aware of friends, family, or colleagues who are changing careers. Ask directly if you can help them and who they’d like to meet.
2. Get specific to identify their target organizations, jobs, people, and industry.
The more specific you are about which companies someone wants to work for and who they should meet, the better. Consider who in your network is inside a company or industry they’re interested in. Think about business owners, professionals, and first-rate companies you know. LinkedIn and Facebook friends are perfect for finding people–look through your lists and groups. Maybe you have a neighbor working at the desired target company who knows the department recruiter. The idea of “six degrees of separation” for reaching anyone on the planet is alive and well.
3. Call or email the contact to make an introduction.
It’s more impactful if you personally introduce the two parties rather than just supply a name. The rest is up to them.
Recently, my cousin Terry was looking to leave his entry-level tech position. He made a list of 12 local organizations he liked who were hiring web developers. To avoid sending in his resume blindly, he asked me and others to run his list through their network and LinkedIn contacts. It turned out Terry found connections inside three companies. One person helped Terry reach the hiring manger, and he was invited to interview. Over the next couple months they brought Terry back for several more interviews, and eventually he was offered a job!
Try it for a month. See how many introductions you can make in the workplace and what you feel. You never know; someday when you need an introduction for your career someone might repay your kind acts.
This article was originally posted on Live in the Grey.