It’s uncomfortable going back to the contacts on your network a second or third time if you haven’t yet landed a job. This discomfort prevents many investment banking job candidates from fully utilizing their network, according to a recent post in the Wall Street Journal blogs.
But if your job search is taking longer than you expected, you have to go back to them. The key to doing this successfully is threefold, says career expert John Crant of SelfRecuiter.com First, set expectations the first time you speak to anyone. Mention that you may call them again in the future. Lay the foundation for future calls.
Second, keep in mind that your call should be a two-way street. Sure you’re calling them to get a lead on a job or a way to get an interview at a firm. But what’s in it for them? What can you offer of value? Crant suggests doing a bit of digging and offering them some useful tidbit of information, an interesting or related article about their field or their company, or even some information that may be of personal interest.
Finally, never leave a message that you are “just following up” on a previous call. This just creates guilt in the person at the other end. Instead, if you have to leave a phone message, mention or hint at whatever it is that you have uncovered that may be of interest to them.
It’s vital to think of your network not as a one-time tool while you are hunting for a job. But as an ongoing resource that you will nurture throughout your career. After all, one day, you may be in a position to give them valuable contacts and information.