Make It Easy For Them To Help You
Why having a specific call-to-action is important when reaching out to your network.
As a UBC Alumni Ambassador in San Francisco, California, I regularly get emails and messages on LinkedIn from current students and recent graduates interested in a career in the Silicon Valley. Here’s an example of a message I will receive following an in-person meeting or phone call:
“Hi Jan, it was nice chatting with you, here’s my resume, please send it to anybody where I might be a good fit”.
I understand why it might seem appealing to cast a wide net, however it’s important to be as targeted as possible in your ask. The reason? People are busy and the easier you make it for them to help you, the more likely you are to get the assistance you are looking for.
It is also important for you to identify the kind of role you are looking for and how this role can fit into your goals and values.
Here are an example of messages that may result in face-to-face meetings with hiring managers and decision makers.
It was nice chatting with you. As I mentioned in our conversation, I’m a UBC Sauder BCom class of 2019 specializing in marketing. I’ll be moving to San Francisco next month and am actively looking for positions in product management, ideally at a large tech firm. You mentioned on our call that you have a friend working at [TECH FIRM]. Would it be possible to make an introduction? I’m very interested in learning more about [TECH FIRM]. I know you’re busy so you could just forward the message at the bottom of this email – my resume is attached:
Thank you very much!
My name is Steve, I’m a UBC Sauder BCom class of 2019 specializing in marketing. I’ll be graduating in December and am currently looking for entry level product management positions in San Francisco. I understand that you are a senior product manager at [SILICON VALLEY TECH FIRM] – a company I’m very interested in – and that there are currently a variety of entry-level product management job openings posted on your careers page. For example, I’m really curious about this position:
[LINK to specific job opening]
I’d love to learn more about these roles and see if I’d be a good fit – I’m certainly very interested! Would you mind introducing me to the hiring manager? I have attached my resume for reference.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Especially in this second example, drafting a message that can simply be forwarded removes almost all effort for your contact to make an introduction.
Reaching out with these examples does not take much time, but is much more likely result in success. It also demonstrates to the person you are reaching out to that you have done your homework.
In my own job search, this approach has helped me clarify my thinking about why it is I am reaching out, what exactly I am looking for, and why I think the other person might be able to help. Remember, people are busy, when you show the other person that you value their time by being well-prepared, you will have much more success in your job search.
Jan Jettel, BA'05, MBA'12 is Senior Vice President & Senior Consultant at Speakeasy, Inc. in San Francisco, California. His role as UBC Alumni Ambassador allows him to share his valuable insights from Silicon Valley to UBC alumni.