Impressive Networking Success Metrics for a Current Job Search

Monet Haystacks summer cropped
Googling for needles

No, not mine!

When talking with folks searching for their next job, I always stress “old-school” networking – face-to-face conversations to get that next introduction, leverage the other person’s network, generate leads on positions, or introductions to more folks that might be able to help. I am definitely a fan, I know it’s a powerful tool – and I’m speaking from direct experience, it can be very effective. Of course, I am very aware of LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo, and the power of online professional networks – especially LinkedIn, a platform that is continuously innovating, with APIs and other on-line connections that can really empower your search. But you can’t rely solely on your electronic connections, especially if you are targeting higher management positions or Advisory / Board of Director roles. At the same time, you can’t rely on face-to-face connections alone – the process takes a good chunk of time.

A balanced approach, leveraging the strengths of both, is the way to go. Want some proof? In a recent conversation with a skilled networker, I asked how they are working their search process. What I got back was a methodical, data-enabled, proactive search that focused primarily on his personal professional network, augmented with research on LinkedIn – and barely a mention of sourcing job leads from corporate postings or job boards. And, he reported some very impressive statistics …

500 direct outbound e-mails (… Let’s reconnect; I’m looking + what can I do to help you?)
200 responses and follow up conversations (some email, some in person)
30 solid ideas (job leads or business ideas)
4 hot opportunities (any one of which would be a terrific next step)
And all in just 6 weeks!

Impressive response rates – but he was working his personal network, nurtured over the last 20+ years; a highly targeted / qualified list to start out with. And that is a core takeaway from this story – it’s extremely important to continuously build and feed your network right now – even if you are not actively looking. You never know when a serendipitous opportunity or interesting bit of information will appear – but if your information net is not always up, you will miss them.

It’s also a great way to keep the personal relationships going. And, when the time is right to start leveraging those relationships for yourself? Those search stats tell a pretty strong story – nice work!

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James MacLennan

... is the Managing Partner at Maker Turtle LLC, a digital consultancy focused on creating value in ways that align with your strategy and drive engagement with employees, customers, and stakeholders. He is an active creator, providing thought leadership through on-line & print publications, and public speaking / keynotes.