I was pleasantly surprised to receive a gift (four delicious pumpkin cupcakes) from a member of a networking group I facilitate. Prior to bestowing upon me such a kind gift, Marie had asked me to critique “only her LinkedIn profile Summary.”
This gift was hardly necessary; although, I have to admit I had forgotten to look at her profile. So I sat with her that day for a brief time and offered some suggestions like, “This paragraph is a bit dense….
“I like the content a lot but perhaps you’d want to reorganize it to match your headline….
“I like your tag line a lot….
“The rest of your profile is great, but you might want to copy and paste some symbols for bullets to spiff it up.”
This interaction is an example of how to give to people when you’re in the job search. Do you have to give baked goods like Marie did? No. You have to reciprocate, however. Here are some ways to give back.
1. Share information
Had Marie sent me a link to an article that could provide fodder for a workshop I lead or a blog post idea, it would be a great way to give back. I’m one who is constantly trolling LinkedIn for information to learn more.
Very little effort required here. For a job seeker it could mean a great post on how to write a resume or some great interview tips. I think sharing information is particularly important for after an informational meeting. You receive information from the person granting you the meeting; now it’s time to return the favor.
2. Make an introduction to someone who could possibly help
You know the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?” When you make an introduction, this is what you’re doing. You’re telling your networking partner to take the ball and run.
Note: providing an introduction in person or on LinkedIn is the same concept. LinkedIn may be the way to go for the busy people you know, but an in-person introduction is more expedient and, perhaps, more efficient.
3. Tell networking groups about your happy landing
Don’t think your networking partners won’t be pleased to learn about your Happy Landing. They will be pleased. However, don’t return to the group to gloat. Tell them how you landed your job.
Many times people have returned the group I facilitate to tell us about the journey they traveled. Have they always landed due to networking? Not always. But networking has played at least a small part in their success. Tell people what worked…and what didn’t.
4. Provide leads after you land a job
Some people who’ve landed a job have contacted me about advertised or, better yet, unadvertised positions at their new company. They get the point of networking. This is one of the best ways to give back after your job search.
Do you know someone who’s still looking? Keep that person in mind when positions open in your company. Be smart about it, though. Your new company might offer an employee referral bonus; this doesn’t give you full range to tell everyone you know about the opening, particularly if they’re not qualified.
5. If you don’t get the job, recommend someone else
Sometimes you curse a recruiter for not helping you land a job. You’re so upset because the recruiter delivers the bad news that the company felt you weren’t qualified. There was empathy in their voice as they told you.
Instead of holding it against the recruiter, think about how you can possibly help a networking connection. It may hurt but think about the main tenet of networking; provide help before expecting it. And if it works out for your networking partner, you gain the satisfaction of helping that person.
As well, you help the recruiter who can possibly help you in the future. Remember that recruiters have a network of employers who need to fill jobs. Don’t discount them.
6. Provide moral support
In times like these–with unemployment rates high due to the pandemic–it’s important to provide moral support to your fellow networkers. Things have drastically changed from the days when you met one-on-one with other job seekers. Now group networking is done via Zoom or other online platforms.
This alone has isolated people which for many leads to despondency or even depression. People are social animals who enjoy the opportunity to be with others in one form or another.
In one of my job club meetings, a woman led the icebreaker part of the event. She was upbeat and encouraging to her fellow networkers, so much that I applauded her for her enthusiasm. This type of support is an important element of giving.
These are but five ways you can help your networking partners. As I said, it’s not necessary to bring delicious baked goods to show your appreciation, but it does help. Thank you, Marie!
Photo: Flickr, the man at the front desk said i’d find you here