Tim Tracey, Bernstein in Minneapolis, has been in transition so he repays the helps he got by actively networking with fellow candidates. He also makes his living by networking to find clients. He both understands and practices networking more than all of us. Tim and I are co-writers for this post. My thanks to Tim for sharing his experience – MJR.
When it comes to networking with candidates, Tim has experienced a wide range of styles and readiness. Here are the five items that he recommends to make a meeting go well:
1. Don’t force the meeting on your schedule. If you have a tight schedule, then give the open times in your calendar when setting up the meeting. Also, your contact will likely schedule a time that allows them to network – not before an important meeting where their attention will be elsewhere.
2. Send a Resume or Marketing Plan in Advance. Like yourself, your contact will like to do their pre-planning. Put your LinkedIn profile URL in your e-mail and send your documents at least two days before the meeting.
3. Don’t Ask for a Job When it is NOT an interview. This can lead to a quick end to the meeting as you force your contact into an uncomfortable position of saying “No”, especially when discussing a position was never part of the meeting’s purpose.
4. Do Your Research. An unprepared Candidate is pretty obvious and makes it very difficult to network with them.
5. Have a clear and crisp Pitch. Practice, practice, practice. Remember you are selling yourself – so make the pitch powerful!
As a funny story using #3 and #4: Just prior to our meeting, Tim has a networking meeting where the candidate first asked Tim if there was a job for them at Bernstein. This was followed up by the candidate asking Tim what Berstein did.