Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by
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Did you know that your next higher-level job might be waiting for you through the people you already know, three levels deep? Here’s what the marketplace tells us:

About 60% of the people looking for a higher-level job, find that new job through personal contacts already in the function or industry for which you are looking. However, you may have to dig into the reservoir of contacts three levels deep:

  1. Direct personal connections – People who know you best: Bosses, neighbors, friends, family, school chums, and so on. They have direct knowledge of your work and experiences to introduce you to the right people.
  2. One level removed – Secondary contacts who have heard about you through your direct personal connections and can expand your contacts by 200% to 300%
  3. Two levels removed – Your third level of connections that can indirectly help. They may only pass on your resume to others, but can ultimately get you in the door.

With100 contacts at level one, and each individual introduces you to three others, then add a minimum of other at level three, you’ll have over 700 people advocating for you.

About 20% of new jobs are found through indirect means: Groups with whom you have not had direct work or personal experience:

  1. Recruiters – They know where the jobs are by specializing in an industry or function. They may have positions for you now or later.
  2. Alumni/school associations – Do a search in your field for those who graduated about 10 years before you. They are the ones who are now hiring at your level.
  3. Professional associations – Hiring organization will contact members who have the professional skills or certifications needed. Some will post openings.

About 20% of new jobs are found through direct contact:

  1. Web-based job boards – Websites like Monster, LinkedIn, Indeed and more, list job openings each day. The problem of course, is multiple-thousands of people respond.
  2. Ads – Usually ads in local and national newspapers, professional publications, and trade magazines have information about open positions.

So how do you optimize each of these connections?

  1. Balance your time and energy proportionally to the greatest return on your effort
  2. Target the right people, industries, and organizations while focusing on your strengths
  3. Concentrate on targeted criteria:  Functions, geography, level, compensation, specialties, experiences, and so on. What industries are in need of your skill sets?
  4. Modeling:  Emphasize your greatest achievements, best results, highest education or certification, paralleling the requirements of the targeted positions
  5. Use key words to fit the model in the top half of the first page of your resume

The most direct link to a new higher-level job is a straight line between people who know and will refer you to the companies who need and want your expertise. Everything else is random.

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