We’re asking you to take it a step further and use that contact to build a team of support within the company. Having four different people vouch for you rather than just one can greatly increase your chances of getting an interview and ultimately getting hired.
After Part I and II of this series, you have hopefully cultivated some good relationships at your target companies.
Meeting in person for drinks or coffee, having some solid phone conversations, or even just some insightful email conversations can go a long way in developing a connection.
Now it is time to develop more relationships so that you can leverage your team of support and land the interview.
At least three different people within the company should be comfortable recommending you.
Remember, you have two key advantages: 1) You have had plenty of practice building professional relationships after Parts I and II, and 2) You will have more credibility since you already have a contact within the company.
The first step is getting in touch with your contact and asking who they can introduce you to at their company.
You should aim to meet someone in the position you are seeking, and a few in different/higher positions.
If you are hesitant about asking, keep in mind that professionals generally love showing off their mentoring relationships to their colleagues.
Here is a great example of how to approach your contact:
I hope all is well. How was your trip to Chicago last week?
It would be great if you could introduce me to some of your colleagues.
Judging from how much I have learned from speaking with you, I think it would be beneficial to get in touch with some more great people there.
Thanks for your help!
Jennifer will feel great after hearing how much you have learned from her. You have also given her the opportunity to showcase her internal network.
Chances are she will be thrilled to put you in touch with some of her people.
Review Steps I and II of the Leveraging Contacts series to make sure that you are doing the right things to build relationships with your new contacts.
Also make sure to praise your original contact as much as possible. Never forget where it all started!
Once you have finished building your team of support, it is time to go after the prize. With multiple internal sources vouching for you, leverage your team to land and ace the interview. Ask them to prepare you, and even bring them up at appropriate points during the interview.
We wish you luck in building your team of support — don’t forget to send out all of those thank you letters!