Once you have made contact with the person with whom you wish to arrange a meeting, try to avoid putting them in a position where they start to say ‘Why don’t you put your resume in the mail and I will get back to you with my thoughts?’ If they get to say this it means the end of the road for that line of networking. The chances are that your contact won’t get back to you so there’s no opportunity to obtain at least two referrals. Also, you fail to see your contact in their office and discuss your resume and your future so you never enter their network.
Also, try to prevent your target saying ‘Why don’t you send your resume to my Human Resources Manager?’ Invariably this is also the end of the road for any line of networking with that particular contact since Human Resources Managers have been trained over the years to save management from time-consuming unsolicited job seekers. It is also relevant that Human Resource Managers are not the decision makers when it comes to hiring personnel. The decisions are made by the Managing Director, General Manager or Divisional Management depending on the nature of the job and the size of the organisation, and they may call on Human Resources to assist in implementation.
Usually you will be able to spot the times when somebody is about to say: ‘Why don’t you send your resume in?’ They will start talking about how busy they are and this is the cue for you to say that you are in no particular hurry for the meeting, that you are happy to have it a few weeks out and at any time which is convenient, perhaps at 7.00 p.m., perhaps at 7.30 a.m. or at lunch or over a coffee.
We advise against networking to Human Resources personnel if your real objective is to establish a networking meeting with a key decision maker in a particular company. However, remember that Human Resources personnel frequently have very large networks because they move around companies but tend to stay in the same profession. They are known in the community as ‘being in the personnel business’ and have very good business networks. You will find them particularly helpful in networking-as providers of leads-except insofar as their own companies are concerned. They can also be excellent at being another set of ‘eyes and ears’ for you.
Whilst the mechanics of networking are simple, don’t be put off because the networking pathways can take various twists and turns. Indeed, to the uninitiated, they seem based on luck. The payoff seems vague, elusive and uncontrollable. For these reasons many executives fail to accept networking as the highly efficient self marketing method it is and the MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD of penetrating the unadvertised job market.