I’m helping an acquaintance find a job. While he’s sharp and has been successful, he’s not sufficiently engaged in his job search, even after six months.

Basically, he had been just going through the motions. He:

  • Has a long elevator speech,
  • Wrote a generic resume and incomplete LinkedIn profile,
  • Contacted his twenty-five best business friends a couple of times,
  • Met about a dozen new people locally, and
  • Talked his way into interviews with only two local companies that he’d like to work for, both of which are long shots.

He had not been working even twenty hours/week on his search…until now.

I helped my friend prepare a job search WORK plan with specific tools and actions as well as specific goals (just like a business).

Twelve Steps toward NetWORKing for a Job

Here are the basic steps to improve his search…and yours. To get started, you need to follow these 12 steps that my friend and I developed for his rejuvenated job search:

  1. Elevator speech, with situational variations.
  2. Résumé with positioning, differentiation, personality, and support. Ditto for LinkedIn including recommendations and examples of his thinking and writing.
  3. Bio personalizing the résumé.
  4. One page networking handout including positioning, differentiation, key titles at best known companies worked for, and target industries and companies.
  5. Phone message to deliver personally or leave on voice mail.
  6. Email networking cover note offering help as well as asking for help and providing specific guidance about your positioning, differentiation, and objectives.
  7. Thank you email with an offer to provide value to those with whom you are networking.
  8. Interesting email/letter to potential employers and recruiters which sells your positioning and differentiation with minimal support.
  9. CRM
    1. List including contact information of everyone you know who possibly could help you even indirectly.
    2. Contact plan of whom you will call and email and when you will follow up and follow up and follow up and…
  10. Schedule: What specific date each of these efforts in the contact plan will be accomplished.
  11. Numeric goals to be tracked weekly: Examples: How many people will you:
    1. Talk to.
    2. Send emails to with bio, one-page networking document, and/or résumé.
    3. Provide updates.
    4. Send communications to potential employers and recruiters.
    5. See in person for networking.
    6. Interview with, on the phone or in person.

I suggest that you start with the following targets and see if you can beat them.

    • In person: See at least one person daily for at least twenty minutes each (a meeting not just a quick exchange of greetings).
    • Via phone: Have conversations with at least 4 people daily, not voice mails…not gatekeepers (although they are valuable).
    • Via email: Send targeted emails to at least four people daily.
  1. Measure your accomplishments vs. your goals weekly and make adjustments accordingly. It helps to report these to a mentor.

If you want a new job, you need to do the WORK in NetWORKing.