Once you have written your “one-minute commercial” and are confident telling others about yourself, it is time to start building your network. What is a network? A network is any friend, family member, mentor, teacher, or professional that can help you in your quest for employment. Building a network takes time, but can be extremely beneficial.
Most people get jobs, because of someone they know. New employers usually feel more confident when they hire a person recommended by someone they know. Hiring a new employee is expensive so they want to go with someone, who others can personally attest to their skills.
So, who should be in your network? What is the best way to go about creating a network?
I would start with any friends from school, work, or different organizations that you believe would keep an eye out for jobs for you. Then think about family members that could help, think about former employers, teachers and supervisors…this is a great place to start. Sometimes your direct contact may not know anybody, but someone in their network may know of a good referral, or opportunity.
In the classes I teach I use Dr. Jed Baker’s “Preparing for Life” series. He offers different types of scripts that have proven beneficial for my clients. These can be used in conjunction with the one minute commercial to start building your personal network! Two examples of scripts are below.
Scripts for Networking:
Script for calling a friend, relative, current or former employer, teacher or supervisor:
- Hi this is, ________________. I am looking for a job as a _________________and I was hoping you could help. Is this an okay time to talk?
- Do you know anyone who may need someone who can______________________?
- Do you know anyone else who might know of any job opening?
- Would you be willing to be a reference for me? Would you be comfortable telling others my skills in____________ and some of my personality traits such as________________?
- If so can I get your contact information for an employer?
- Thank you for your time.
Script for calling someone who has been referred to you by others.
- Hello this is__________________. I am a friend (or relative or acquaintance) of____________________. I’m looking for a job as a______________________ and he or she said that you might be able to help. Is this an okay time to talk?
- Do you know anyone who might need someone who can_______________________?
- Do you know anyone else you might know of any job openings?
- Thank you very much for your time.
by Maggie Cromeens
Maggie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal and Fine Arts with a Major in Communication/Public Relations and a Minor in Non Profit Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has worked for Compass Resource Group since 2011. She assists adults in Texas with disabilities in achieving their employment goals by providing training, job placement assistance, environmental work assessments, social skills training, and job coaching. She has been instrumental in shaping the services at Compass Resource Group to meet the needs of young adults on the Autism Spectrum who are transitioning from high school. She is a member of the DARS Statewide Developmental Disorders Team