The "Know, Like and Trust" Factor
In the sales world, there is an acronym that is widely used to describe how to get a prospect to buy from you. It's KLT, or the "Know, Like and Trust" factor. It's believed that people buy from you when they know you, like and trust you. Some would say that's even more important than the quality of the product or service itself.
As I've said many times, a job search is identical to sales. You are the service and the employer is the buyer. The employer will hire the person that they know, like and trust to do a quality job (and who they believe will fit in with the culture).
This principle also applies to getting referred for a job. Referrals have been proven time and time again to be the most effective strategy for getting a new job. Your network will be willing to refer and recommend you if they know you, like and trust you. They are, after all, putting their own credibility on the line.
You should also remember that the most effective and authentic networking isn't just about people who you think can immediately get you a job. It's about long-term relationship building. The relationships that produce job leads are nearly always the ones that we already have. If you aren't able to produce any job leads from within your current network, then establishing new ones will necessary.
Action Tip: As part of your networking efforts, make a list of at least 100 people who you believe know, like and trust you. Look through all of your social media contacts, email addresses, cell phone numbers, etc. You will easily come up with 100 names. In fact, you almost certainly know more than 100 people, but you want to concentrate your efforts on the people who know you the best. Not all of your contacts are equal in that respect.
Next, ask yourself what you are doing to stay in touch with these people. Do you need to reconnect with them through email, or a phone call? Do you need to set up a coffee date with them?
Lastly, do the 100 people on your list know that you are looking for work? If not, they may not even mention a job opportunity to you. Don't be afraid to share with your network that you are open to opportunities and would appreciate their referral or help, should an opportunity arise at their organization.