Have you made this HUGE Job Search Networking Mistake? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

Imagine that you are parked in your car at a red light at a busy intersection.  I pull up in my car right next to you.  I honk my horn, roll down the window of my car and look at you.  You notice that I am trying to get your attention, so you roll your window down and look at me.  Here is the conversation that follows:

Me: “Excuse me.  I’m lost.  Would you mind giving me some directions?”

You: “Sure.  Where are you trying to go?”

Me: “Well… I’m really flexible.  It doesn’t matter.  I’ll go anywhere.  Where do you think I should go?”

Sounds crazy, right?  You would have no idea how to respond to such a ridiculous question because you could send me in a hundred different directions!

Well, unfortunately, this is how most people approach job search networking.  They go to their friends, family, and other contacts, and say something like, “In this economy, I’ll take any job I can get.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m really flexible.  Do you know of any job openings?”

People will not be inspired to help you if you have no purpose or focus for your job search.  More importantly, they won’t know how to help you!

When you are networking for a job, you must tell people where you want to go.  The more specific you can be, the better.  At the minimum, you need to give people your ideal industry and/or job function.

One of the keys to successful job search networking is to find people who have been where you want to be.  Then, you ask how they got there, and you ask how you can get there.

I was able to break into the highly competitive sports marketing industry without any relevant work experience when I was a 21-year old student because I found people who worked in the industry, and I asked them how I could break into it.

Something amazing happened when I did that.  People told me exactly what to do, and it worked!

Most students and young professionals make their job searches way too complicated.  In summary, determine what you want to do, find someone who has done it, and ask them for advice on how you can do it. 

Do you have a story about how asking for advice has helped your career?  If so, please share below!

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Networking

One Comment on “Have you made this HUGE Job Search Networking Mistake? (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)”

  1. Christina Warner Says:

    Hi!

    Recently, I was able to connect with an entrepreneur who found a management consulting firm. I asked to meet him for an informational interview during a week when I was home for break. I met with him, and had an extremely fruitful conversation. One of his advice mirrors yours–in that I should focus and be selective in my job search, rather than be open and flexible. Now, I have an internship at his firm for Winter Break.

    Best,
    Christina


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