Connect the Dots - Tracing the Steps to Job Opportunities

By Frank Traditi

As you've probably heard many times before, it's your network of people that will eventually help you land the job you really want. You can create and nurture this network through the familiar channels like networking functions, seminars, volunteering opportunities, and social gatherings.

Another tactic you can use to build your network is called connecting the dots. Here's how it works. In order for companies to survive in today's competitive marketplace, they must rely on the services and expertise of other companies. Many businesses maintain close relationships with their customers, service providers, affiliates, partners, bankers, and many others. All are part of what could be called the intelligence network. Members of this intelligence network interact with this business at different levels, but all are privy to information potentially beneficial to you.

Following is an example that illustrates the power of connecting the dots. Let's say you are targeting a job opportunity with a specific software development company. Here are the possible connections in their intelligence network:

1. Reseller Partners.

The company that has contracted to sell their software will know the inside scoop on how the product works Maybe they also know about an opening in the software development department.

2. Web Design Firm Find out who designed their website.

They are usually connected with the companies' marketing, information technology, and sales department. Perhaps they know some challenges the company is dealing with. Maybe the VP of Marketing is looking for a good Internet Marketing strategist?

3. Investment Bankers or Venture Capitalists Your target company might be in the early stages of growth.

Bankers and Venture Capitalists know just about everything there is to know about the company and what their challenges are. Do you think these folks might know when a management shake-up may take place and when they are looking for good people and new talent?

4. Executive Recruiters They may have hired an executive recruiter to bring in new management talent for specific departments.

That new manager may need to bring in new talent to the department. The recruiter might also have some intelligence about other areas of the company. Could they refer you to the leader of that other department?

5. Clients Some companies display a client list on their website or in their brochures.

If you can identify and talk with a few players at these client companies, they may reveal clues to job opportunities. You may also recognize a company or two and know who works there. Leverage these relationships to get the inside track on your target company.

6. Sales training company Perhaps they've contracted with a sales training company that's working with their sales force and management team to increase their productivity. Maybe the training company personnel know about open sales positions?

A good place to start is to write down all the services a company needs to run their day to day operations. Pick a company that you are interested in working for and try to identify the intelligence network that serves or is connected to this company. Make it your goal to find at least six connections.

Then start connecting the dots. I'll bet you'll like the picture.

Copyright © 2005, Frank Traditi

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