How to network when you haven't talked for a while with your past colleagues/ boss/ close group?
Career professionals use the holiday season as a strategy to connect and network!
Are you on Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ LinkedIn/ other social media with them?
Do they post pictures/ content?
Start engaging there with likes and comments, get their attention
Get to their inbox and start the conversation examples: "happy holidays" "good to chat after many years" "how are you doing" "what's new" " kids have grown up, how old are they now" "are you still at the same place, where are you now" "I didn't realize you moved, when" " I noticed you got married, congrats, how did you meet" " congrats on the newborn, what is her name, why that name, who chose, what is the meaning behind that name".
Use the pictures/ post they posted to create conversations. Pay attention to what they post and show up on their feed!
First, make a deposit then ask for withdrawal by building long-term relationships. Relationship building takes time, don't rush the process.
The holiday season could be the best time to repatch the previous relationship & bond with colleagues/ bosses. They might have moved and your past colleagues might have a new network. Don't stop networking during the holiday season, it is the time to wish your old friends happy holidays and meet up in person/call them. Remember not everyone celebrates Christmas, therefore saying happy holidays is a safe way to reconnect. Get to know about their journey.
Target specific people who could be advocates, possibly someone who admired your work in the past.
Check-in with them, listen, and when they ask you about updates, talk about your job search struggle but be clear on the targeted role. You should already have a targeted title, Industry, and pain you can solve.
Ask for contacts "do you know anyone in xxx area, xxx company" "could you look out for xxx role if it gets posted internally in your company"
Ask questions such as when does their company/ the specific department usually hire? where do they post the jobs?
Make a note of the hiring season and their fiscal year.
Picking the right people/circle matters, as most listen to be polite. Picking someone who was once in your shoes helps with empathy & sympathy. Reach out to someone who left the company, who got laid off/ fired to seek guidance. They might have a list of recruiters, agencies, and information related to your targeted area.
Going back to CLOSE FRIENDS and saying "thank you for being there for me always" brings holiday spirit and doesn't sound selfish to start a conversation.
Conversations are way better when you start with gratitude. Be authentic!
Pack a few coffee cards/ wine/ chocolates/ gifts during the meet-up. I know there is a budget but it's a thought that counts.
Use these ice-breaker questions for networking,
Job search networking tips for job seekers to connect with the future hiring managers/ strangers
Follow the targeted company’s social media account
Set the google alerts or the companies
Participate in their social media activities
Act as a brand ambassador, informally, sign up for community forums/blogs, and act as a moderator.
Check their media release and DEI page to understand the demographics
Check the career page in LinkedIn which would have a video on employees and executives, reach out to them and tell them what you liked about their video
Sign up for the newsletter to understand the inside information.
Be visible on their company page, stand out with a valuable comment
Comment and engage in the company’s social media page: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
Reach out to a person on social media to understand what it is like working within that company (treat this as an informational session online)
Ask about the application process. When and where do the company post the job, when do they normally hire?
Target companies set a goal for networking, send at least 10 to 25 invites/emails per day, even if one responds, celebrate that 1!
Develop your personalized connection request when sending LinkedIn invite with why you want to connect (tips, add things you have watched/ read about them on the invite)
Do some homework before sending an invite, comment on their recent post, talk about their website, blogs, or recent news, be genuine!
Personalize with, why you want to connect, target the decision-makers and someone who is working in your targeted role to understand what it is like to be working there
Add value, when you comment on other people’s posts, so it stands out, liking the post means nothing!
Engage politely, disagree respectfully, future employers are watching you!
Treat each interaction as a networking session, even when you are not attending a networking event
Revisit what worked and what didn’t, keep exploring with new elevator pitches based on the targeted jobs
Set up an in-person informational interview with a clear goal and be specific on why you want to meet. Offer value proposition
Spend time on the research before you reach out to hiring authorities
If you want 20 minutes of their time, spend 30 minutes researching about them. Check their videos, blogs, article, etc.
Have an ice breaker type of questions ready for face to face networking
Introverts could use ice breaker questions and focus on the 80/20 rule.
80 percent of the time you are listening and 20 percent of the time you are asking questions to understand the internal process of hiring/ pain.
Networking ice-breaking questions for your assistance
Tell me something about you, most people don't know
What are you scared of in life?
Where do you want to travel next?
How many countries have you travelled to so far?
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
How many languages do you speak?
What is the most memorable thing you would never forget?
What gives you goosebumps?
Name your idol and why?
What is the meaning of your name?
Why did you choose this career?
What course s/ certifications helped you?
Which influencer do you want to meet in person?
Which influencer should I follow and why?
Do you follow influencers on social media?
Samples of networking templates through email/LinkedIn
Understand the pain, use the industry lingo
I am impressed by your recent promotion from Manager to Senior Manager in such a short period. Congratulation! (Research about them).
I am your client & I have a future interest in your previous role (specific hint). Last week, I called the contact center & noticed there was a 45 mins wait time for customer service (Pain). I understand your branch has limited hours due to COVID-19 and calls are being transferred to the call center. I called multiple times and the average wait time was over 45 minutes. I also noticed there were multiple complaints online about the wait time. I received the customer satisfaction survey later and provided feedback. It was really not fair to the agent as longer waits were not his fault ( know how they measure KPI).
I have expertise in reducing Average Handling Time (AHT) within the contact center, resulting in fewer wait times, higher customer satisfaction, and minimal call abandonment (solution). I have saved $xx for the last company by fixing the root cause of higher AHT. The framework would work even if you are short staff and have no budget to hire new agents.
I have a deck attached with a few recommendations. If you have 15- 20 minutes next week, I’d love to know more about your KPIs and walk you through how to decrease the wait time within
Let me know what works with your schedule next week on Thursday or Friday. I will plan my schedule.
P.S. Congrats on the recent J.D. Powered award! As a client of yours, I would love to understand how client satisfaction is measured during our meeting. (P.S gets attention)
Hello xxxx, (name dropping technique for future referral) (volunteering approach to get in the targeted role)
I am always eager to connect with top professionals with an outstanding experiences like yourself. I am interested in knowing more about the xxxx role in xxxx area. Our mutual connection Rob advised me that your department is growing soon this year. Perhaps, I could help out in the future within your organization during events to understand logistics. Please don't hesitate to ask.
Let me know if there is a formal process for volunteering. I would like to volunteer in these areas xxxxx.
I hope, we stay connected.
P:S. I love your LinkedIn background picture where did you get that? (Adding P.S get attention)
Questions to ask Startups during the informational interview as job seekers, click here.