When you’re looking for a new job, the people you know can be very helpful. Because top employees spend time with other quality workers, job candidates who are referred to an employer are 80 percent more likely to get hired. Therefore, the relationships you’ve formed are one of the best resources you have for finding a new employer.
Value of Weak Connections
Weak connections are often more effective than strong ones for getting the job you want. According to LinkedIn’s data team, the former managers, colleagues and other people you’re directly connected with account for a much smaller percentage of referrals than your second- or third-degree connections. LinkedIn’s 2016 U.S. and Canada Talent Trends Report shows that 40 percent of people surveyed said they were referred to their new employer by a company employee. When LinkedIn dug deeper to determine how strong ties needed to be for job referrals, the data team discovered that only 11-12 percent had a first-degree connection to their new company.
Weak connections may help you land a job because social media helps individuals connect to powerful people and remain aware of pertinent facts and changes in their lives. Because we don’t have time to build strong ties with everyone or rely on only our quality ties to get jobs, the greater number of weak ties you have, the greater your social power is.
How to Ask Connections for a Job Referral
First, Make Connections
Your college alumni association, sorority or fraternity, professional interest groups, colleagues, former managers and other connections are excellent sources for requesting job referrals. Because these people don’t always have the time to think about how they can provide the help you need, you have to spell out exactly what you want.
Start With An Email
Start by putting your ask in the subject line of your InMail. If you don’t tell your connection within the first 200 characters what you need, odds are they’ll move to the next InMail. In the body of your InMail, be as specific as possible. Your connection may have an easier time thinking about who they know and how they may be able to help you.
Encourage Them To Recommend You
Make it easy for your connection to recommend you by providing a bit of pertinent information about yourself. Ensure your message is thoughtful, concise and well-written, and your LinkedIn profile is updated. Include your Twitter handle in the details of your message to provide a sense of your personality. Include a link to a PDF of your resume in the body of your message so it can easily be forwarded. Let your connection know if a potential employer reaches out to you. Thank them for their help.
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