Draft & Send Out a Broadcast Networking Letter
One powerful networking technique you might want to consider — right up front — is to send out a “broadcast” e-mail note to your entire contact network in order to bring everybody immediately up-to-speed on your current situation, future goals, and the fact that you’re actively seeking job leads and assistance.
While your first reaction may be to view this type of “form letter” approach as too impersonal — our clients have used it with great success over the years and it’s often given them a HUGE burst of leads and moral support, right out of the gate.
In fact, if you want to read a few comments and case studies related to other clients who have engaged in this step, you’ll find a few of them here via our blog.
If you’re job hunting confidentially, of course, this step might not be very wise — or you’d want to limit your note to only the select handful of people you can trust with knowledge of your situation. But for everybody else, if you’re conducting a no-holds-barred search for a new opportunity, a “broadcast” letter is a very smart idea.
Here are a few guidelines we’d suggest you follow, if you try this particular strategy:
1) Don’t pretend this note ISN’T a form letter or try to trick them into thinking the note is customized, simply by mail-merging their names into the letter. Instead, be totally up front and just BCC: everybody with the same exact note, making it clear that the message is designed to get everybody on board regarding your search efforts, in a hurry, and that you’ll then be following up with people on an individual basis.
2) Don’t send out more than one of these letters during the course of your job search; it’s acceptable one time, up front, but if you keep bombarding everybody with “form” letters on an ongoing basis it will seem desperate and you’ll alienate some folks who start to feel that you’re “spamming” them!
3) Keep the letter casual, positive, and concise — don’t dwell on the “bad news” of your availability or come across as a “victim” in any way. For samples of the type of message we’d recommend, click here, and you can read through a few examples of what other clients have sent out over the years. Or there’s another GREAT example we featured here a while back, on our blog!
Again, while it may seem counter-intuitive, it usually pays dividends to “blast” everybody your news this one time, at the start of your search, since you never know who exactly in your network might be sitting on that one great lead for you, right out of the gate!
How you do track this one-time “broadcast” campaign on your spreadsheet? We’d suggest you manually type the date the letter goes out into the “LTD” column of each appropriate recipient on your Contacts page — then add a SINGLE entry describing the mailing on the Activities page.