As you have probably heard many times before, it is your network of people that will eventually help you land the job you really want. You can create and nurture this network through the familiar channels like networking functions, seminars, volunteering opportunities and social gatherings.
Another tactic you can use to build your network is called “connecting the dots”. Here is how it works. For companies to survive in today’s competitive marketplace, they must rely on the services and expertise of other companies.
Many businesses maintain close relationships with their customers, service providers, affiliates, partners, bankers and many others. All are part of what could be called the intelligence network.
Members of this intelligence network interact with these businesses at different levels, but all are privy to information potentially beneficial to you.
The following is an example that illustrates the power of connecting the dots. Let’s say you are targeting a job opportunity with a specific software development company. Here are the possible connections in its intelligence network:
The company that has contracted to sell its software will know the inside scoop on how the product works. Maybe it also knows about an opening in the software development department.
Web design firm
Find out who designed the website of your target company. It is usually connected with the company’s marketing, information technology and sales department. Perhaps it knows some challenges the company is dealing with. Maybe the vice-president of marketing is looking for a good Internet marketing strategist?
Investment bankers or venture capitalists
Your target company may be in the early stages of growth. Bankers and venture capitalists know just about everything there is to know about the company and what its challenges are. Do you think these folks may know when a management shake-up will take place and when it is looking for good people and new talent?
The target company may have hired an executive recruiter to bring in new management talent for specific departments. That new manager may need to bring in new talent to the department. The recruiter may also have some intelligence about other areas of the company. Could he refer you to the leader of that other department?
Some companies display a client list on their website or in their brochures. If you can identify and talk with a few players at these client companies, they may reveal clues to job opportunities. You may also recognise a company or two and know who works there. Leverage these relationships to get the inside track on your target company.
Sales training company
Perhaps your target company has contracted with a sales training company that is working with its sales force and management team to increase their productivity. Maybe the training company personnel know about open sales positions?
A good place to start is to write down all the services a company needs to run its day-to-day operations. Pick a company you are interested in working for and try to identify the intelligence network that serves or is connected to this company. Make it your goal to find at least six connections.
Then start connecting the dots. I bet you will like the picture.
Article by Frank Traditi, the co-author of Get Hired Now!: A 28-Day Program For Landing The Job You Want. He is an author, speaker, career strategist and executive coach with more than 20 years of experience in management, sales and marketing for Fortune 500 companies. For more information, visit www.gethirednow.com