How Do You Manage Your Network?
Most people do not have an organized approach to stay connected, but networking is the single most important part of any job search strategy. A strategic job search campaign requires you to make the most of your networking list. Statistics say that 85% of jobs are found through networking, so doesn’t it make sense that you would need to manage your network as efficiently as possible.
Build A Network Management Tool
As you begin your job search campaign don’t stop with creating a list of contacts. You can build a simple networking tool that will keep you organized and even tell you when you need to follow up.
One simple tool you can use is a spreadsheet. Google Sheets can help you organize all your networking information in a spreadsheet that you can access from any electronic device with an internet connection.
Divide your list in to three tiers and label them one through three. At the top of your list, create a tier with the label “new”. This new tear will not only help you manage your network list of contacts that you already have, but it will help you organize the new contacts that you will make during your job search campaign.
Consider the “New” Tier and Tier 1 contacts your hot prospects.
Tier 1 contacts are those you know well, are willing and able to help you by leveraging their expansive network. You will consistently reach out to these connections during your job search to network, ask for advice and brainstorm. Your Tier 1 contacts are your personal board of directors for your job search.
Tier 2 contacts are those connections that may only be acquaintances. Perhaps they are centers of influence in a professional organization, non-profit. They may be past clients or work for competitors. These are the people that you know, but may not know well.
Tier 3 contacts are family and friends outside of the business arena. This tier could be made of old college friends, former colleagues with whom you have lost contact or former professors.
How To Manage Your Network
This tiered networking system can also become your networking action plan during your job search. Assign time frames for contacting each tier during your job search by adding columns in your spreadsheet. Add one column to record your most recent contact date. Add another column to be a trigger for your next contact date. Each day, filter the sheet for the current date and you have an instant networking call list for that day. Expand the list by creating a filter for all call back dates within the next 7 days and you have a weekly networking contact list.
Add additional columns in your spreadsheet for basic contact information including email, phone, and mailing address.
Start Networking For A New Job
You can create a custom tool to manage your network during your job search for free using an Excel or Google Docs
spreadsheet. Your network management tool should be flexible. Contacts in the “New” tier will move to Tier 1 or Tier 2 as you determine how they might fit into your search. Your networking list is a flexible tool that you own and can change at any time.
What tools and techniques would you recommend using to manage your network during your job search? I’m looking forward to hearing from you.