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The above statement seems too good to be true, and it is. It’s not just as easy as declaring on the internet that you’re looking for a job, and someone would immediately reach out to you. The hard truth is, you’re just one of the thousands of candidates looking at the same position. But the difference between you and the thousands is that you can take matters into your own hands.
Read on to find out just how you can get your dream role without going through the hassle of applying online, where most of the time, your resume won’t even reach a real person.
The key is networking.
Instead of giving you the scientific description like everyone else might’ve already given you, I’ll make it really simple: It is an outreach to a person of interest. Imagine you’re out in the town, you see someone with your favorite car, accessory, etc. (person of interest), and you go up to them to introduce yourself, compliment them, and start having a conversation.
Congratulations, you’ve just networked with someone! It is that straightforward.
However, networking online is slightly different and can be harder to do but not impossible to execute. All it takes is to have the proper intent, approach, and an appropriate call to action.
While reaching out to people online, you need to be genuine and have a clear, authentic voice. It is extremely easy to sense disingenuity, and it is an immediate turn-off to most people. The proper intent comes from your natural curiosity about your person of interest. Really think to yourself about what you want to know or find out. Here are excellent examples of good intent:
You want to learn their journey to get to their current role
You have questions about their company’s products/services
You want help in connecting with someone from their company
You have questions about a job posting
You seek advice regarding skills development for their role
Now comes the most challenging part of online networking - the approach. Your approach, like your intent, needs to have your authentic voice or touch. Most people have either thoughtless or aggressive practices, and you need to avoid them as best as you can. It’s up to you to find a suitable medium. Here is a template you can work off of:
Hi [First Name],
I found your profile on LinkedIn while looking for people who work in [Industry]. Your experience stood out to me! I hope you don't mind me reaching out.
I'm currently looking for job opportunities in [Industry] and want to better understand what that path looks like, what skills I need to build, and how to position myself well. I'd love to learn more about your journey, the skills you built, and the challenges you faced.
You have to make sure that after all the hard work of reaching out to your person of interest, you need to be clear about your call to action. What do you want to happen next? Do you want your resume reviewed? Do you want to hop on a call to have a proper conversation? This is all in your hands. But be mindful of how the online discussion has been going and act accordingly. You don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.
Look at the example of a good call to action below:
Are you available this following Monday for a quick 15 minute chat? I would love to schedule some time with you.
Notice that the call to action is short and to the point? Keep your call to action direct, so it’s easier for any reader to digest and make a decision off.
If you’re someone who struggles with reaching out to people online and prefers to have a predefined group of people to network with, there are plenty of platforms that help with precisely that. Take Lunchclub, Meetup, and Toasty, for example.
Toasty runs a biweekly networking event for people from in and around their community. Their whole philosophy is to create meaningful connections among their users, and their networking events reflect very highly on that spectrum. Simply sign up for their newsletter or follow them on LinkedIn to be notified of upcoming events.
Other things to note as well and some valuable resources for you to reference when you’re actively searching for new opportunities are:
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