By Kempton Smith and Michael Williams
Most management jobs, as many as 80%,
are never advertised. They
are available through a process of
personal networking. This
consists of contacting everyone you
have ever known, have ever
met or have ever heard of, and using
the networking multiplier.
The Networking Multiplier assumes that
every contact can
generate five more contacts for you if you use the right
approach. It's like working from the top down on a pyramid. If
each person you contact in turn contacts five more persons and
each of these contacts five others, and so on, then after only
five iterations you will have generated 5x5=25x5=125x5= 625x5=
3125x5=15,625 contacts. The numbers get to be quite impressive.
These are idealistic, but nonetheless, somewhere in between 6
and 15,625 is doable starting with just one contact.
Wouldn't it be great to have about 15,000 people helping you
find a job if you are unemployed, or looking for a better job.
People means, "everyone plus many that are up to five times
removed from the original contact."
Don't underestimate the power of networking.
One of the authors of this article had a simple list of contacts
totaling in excess of 2000. He used to send Xmas/happy holiday
cards to each of them every year, but the postage got too heavy
and now he uses the internet, not as sophisticated as regular
mail and a nice card, but it keeps the doors open except for
those who change their e-mail address and forget to notify him.
Since starting to use the Internet e-mail the number has dropped
from over 2000 to less than 1200. Still, it's an impressive
number. He asks everyone he meets for his or her e-mail address.
He jots off an E-mail within a day or so saying, "It was nice
meeting you. Let's keep in touch." He follows up at certain
times like the 4th of July "Happy 4th." This approach is good if
you have a list and you should use it if you are ever looking
for a job. But what if you suddenly find yourself unemployed and
you have no list, or a very small list? You have an urgent full-
time day-by-day job in front of you.
Start making several lists:
1. All your friends and acquaintances. Call them and explain
your situation, ask if they know of or have heard of any
opportunities that might suit your qualifications. Ask for
referrals, their contacts that might be able to advise you on
your career track. Ask for permission to use their names when
contacting these other people. This is part of the multiplier
method. Send him or her a copy of your resume. Ask him or her to
pass it on to anyone who might know of an opportunity that would
2. All your business contacts that you have made through your
present or past jobs. Include contacts such as trade reps,
consultants, software salespeople, supply reps, printers,
bankers, and any other outside people you can think of. Again,
use the multiplier method (Always ask for some referrals). Send
each of these people a copy of your resume and ask them to pass
it on to anyone that might be interested.
3. All the co-workers, bosses, supervisors, and others that you
can remember from past jobs, if they have moved on track them
down and renew your contact. Don't forget the multiplier method.
Refresh their memories with a copy of your resume and ask each
to pass on a copy to anyone with contacts.
4. Go to your local library and make up a list of likely
companies that might want to talk with you. Call them first and
see if they will extend you an information interview and give
you some advice on your career ideas. Follow it up with a
letter, even if they turn you down thank them for taking the
time to talk with you on the phone. Enclose a copy of your
resume just in case they hear of some opportunity that might be
a fit for you. Ask the person to whom you address the letter to
feel free to pass your resume on to any opportunities that he or
she might hear of that would suit you.
5. Also, while at the library, make a list of employment
agencies and executive search firms in your area. (See the
"Kennedy Publications" usually in hard copy with a red cover)
Write to a select group of search firms and include a resume.
There is a large green book entitled: "Directory of Human
Check your local newspaper for networking groups , visit with
them and join those that are appropriate for you. Always have a
supply of resumes on you when you leave your house. If you are
over 40 locate the nearest 40- plus networking organization (Its
national and its somewhere to go during the day if you need that
kind of support. You shouldn't because you should be so consumed
with your search that you don't have time to need any moral
Last, but not least, don't forget the networking power of the
Internet. Log on and file your resume with all the big ones.
Just follow the instructions on your screen for Amazon etc. See
how you can qualify for mentoring help with your networking,
letters, and resume.
You should be working 6 to 8 hours a day on the above networking
methods. Follow up at least every 2 weeks. For those people who
start avoiding you, send them a nice letter, explain some of
your near successes. Tell them if they ever become involved in a
major search you will be pleased to pass on your mailing lists
of companies and search firms, and provide introductions to some
key helpers. This usually rings some wakeup bells. Networking is
a two-way game and you might be in my situation one day.
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