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Using personal referrals to get opportunities

After my last post on how to collect personal referrals, I wanted to share how you can actually bank on them to increase your access to opportunities. As they say, your network is your net worth, and using these strategies will most definitely help you advance your success!

1. Act promptly.

Take advantage of the opportunity to make yourself known before vacancies occur. That way you’ll face less competition and employees may be able to share more information if no formal hiring process is underway.

2. Drop names.

There’s no need to feel awkward about relying on a referral. Mention the name of the colleague who referred you if you’re leaving a voice mail, and briefly explain your relationship if you’re sending an email.

3. Back it up.

Of course, you also need to sell yourself. Research the company and rehearse your pitch. Once you’re hired, becoming a top performer will reflect well on your contact too.

4. Spread out your efforts.

Broaden your network instead of relying on the same colleagues for one referral after another. They’re likely to be more responsive to occasional requests.

5. Think long term.

While your friends and family may be full of valuable leads, they may not pan out overnight. Networking is an ongoing process, so stay in touch and keep each other updated.

6. Express thanks.

Make others feel good about giving you referrals by letting them know how much you appreciate their assistance. Write handwritten thank you letters or invite them out to lunch.

Let me know if you have other strategies you use in the comment section.


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