So, if you’ve been taking my advice, you know that networking is how you are going to get a job. Or at least, it will make you a much better-informed job seeker. You’ve also been paying attention and know that the best way to find a contact at an organization you care about is likely to be either in person (through a networking event or professional association); through an old-fashioned introduction via your network; or, most likely, via LinkedIn.
I harp on people *constantly* to use LinkedIn to connect to people professionally. There are two ways to connect with someone on LinkedIn (that is– two ways to connect without having to pay for InMails or a premium account). Here are the steps involved in the two processes. Either way, you’ll need to use an extremely brief email to grab the person’s attention.
HOW TO CONNECT ON LINKEDIN
1. Do an Advanced Search of People (go to the Home page, look on the top right-hand side of the page, and click “Advanced” to the right of the People search box).
2. Set up your search: by zip code radius (or country if international); by industry; by job title (i.e. “sustainability”); by keyword; by company name; whatever. Find the person who is most likely to be a valuable contact for you. Click that person’s name.
or click on “Get Introduced through a connection.”
Once you’ve done this, you have to write at least one email, maybe two.
4. The email you’re sending to the person should say something short and sweet. If you’re getting introduced, you have more characters to use in your message. Here’s a template:
You are a mutual colleague of <Your Mutual Connection> and me. I found your profile on LinkedIn when searching for <people you’re seeking>. I was very impressed by your <fill in the blank flattery>.
The reason I’m reaching out to you is <I want to learn more about your company; would love to see how you made your transition from X to Y, which is similar to what I’m hoping to do; I am thinking about attending the graduate school you went to; I am hoping to get a position in your field one day>. As a <student; stay-at-home mom returning to work; nonprofit professional; policy analyst with a strong interest in water conservation> I think we have much in common.
Would you be willing to connect and potentially meet for coffee in the next <3 weeks or similar timeframe>? I am available any <Tuesday or Thursday after 2pm; or other extremely specific timeframe that would allow them to actually schedule a meeting with you>. I would be glad to come to your office if it’s most convenient. Please let me know.
I truly appreciate your consideration. Have a wonderful day.