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Overcome Your Contacts' Resistance to Networking

Learn how to overcome your contacts' resistance to your networking requests

Your networking goal as a job seeker is show your contacts how they can help you in your job search. You want to ask for something specific your contact can easily do. Your ability to present yourself and explain what you hope to gain from meeting with your contacts will determine their response to you. You must be prepared to say more than "I am looking for a job and was wondering if you know of any open¬ings." Your introduction should be brief, listener directed and upbeat.

If people seem hesitant to grant your request to meet, clearly state that you are not looking for a job with them and that you are only looking for advice and information. For example:

Reluctant Contact: I really don’t know of any openings. I’m not sure I can help you.

Your Response: I appreciate your candor. At this point in my job search, I’m just trying to talk to as many people in the field as possible to get some feedback on my approach and brainstorm where possibilities may exist. I would appreciate it if you could spare 10 minutes for me. Does next Tuesday or Thursday work for you?

Suspicious Contact: If you are looking for a job you should contact HR.

Your Response: Actually, I am not looking for a job at the moment, although I’d be happy to contact HR at a later date. Right now I am eager to meet as many people in the field as possible to get some feedback on my approach and brainstorm where possibilities may exist. I would be grateful if you could spare 10 minutes for me. Does next Tuesday or Thursday work for you?

Negative Contact: I can’t help you. I’m not the person you should talk to.

OR

I don’t have time to meet with you.

Your response: Thanks for your candor. Could you suggestion someone else I should talk to? Would it be ok if I used your name?

If you are still met with resistance, politely bring the conversation to a close and send a letter with your resume asking to be remembered for future reference.

It may take several attempts over a period of weeks--even months--to get someone's attention. Keep in mind that the way to get a response to any kind of marketing communication is to create multiple, positive impressions.

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Comments (1)
Vanessa

Excellent example between reluctant contact and job seeker. I find myself in these situations most of the time (as contact - though not as reluctant because I do always give the job seeker some time). However, what if job seeker is being too pushy, even though you have fully disclosed that your current employer has not opportunity to offer them? Any advice?

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