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Don’t Talk to Strangers in a Job Search

How to close your executive work gap in 4 simple steps

If you’re serious about your career, don’t be “just another resume submitted somewhere in a database.” The best way to land your dream job is to be introduced to the company through a referral.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Commit

Create the habit of scheduling 15-minute meetings to ask for feedback, advice, and a referral to another potential connection.

Keep it simple. Start by asking individuals who you know for advice or a referral. Be specific. Ask them if they know anyone who works at Company X or holds Job Y. Most people underestimate their connections. Getting that introduction can come from many sources: your college roommate, a former colleague, a neighbor’s aunt, or even your dentist.

2. Prepare

Prepare for each conversation by listing 3 questions you want to ask. Time is valuable and you want to make the most of each meeting.

A recent client had been embarrassed by her “Executive Gap” after she left her corporate career to stay at home with her young children. I asked her to reach out to a few individuals who could help her with specific questions. Not only did the connections help to build her confidence in her interview skills, one former colleague who she hadn’t chatted with in years was able to put her resume onto the top of the hiring pile.

3. Log It

Be sure to keep track of each meeting and list a follow-up question in case you connect with that person again.

Stay organized and watch your network grow by keeping a simple spreadsheet of who you've met and other important information such as their phone number, email, who introduced you, questions you’ve already asked along with follow-up questions you would like to ask in the future.

4. Follow Up

It’s your job to be unforgettable. One great way is to send a thank you note along with some of the takeaway points from each conversation.

Companies want to know you are with their culture. It’s difficult to truly understand WHO you are from just a piece of paper. When you are introduced to a company or department through a connection, it signals to the hiring manager that you are already a fit.

While it’s not always that quick to find your dream job, it is simple when you follow a plan. Your dream job is only one connection away--don’t waste it by talking to strangers.

Working mom? Busy Executive? Career and Family Focused?

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Executive Mom Nest Founder, Marcy Stoudt is passionate about developing leaders, bringing teams together, and creating a work environment where people thrive. For the past 25 years, she has worked with hundreds of women and executives and has coached, taught, and inspired results through confidence and balance.


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