Outreach & Networking II

Slides for this session

Learning Goals

  • Understand best practices for outreach as it relates to job applications
  • Apply principles to an outreach plan for your application

This Week’s Career Journal Prompts

  • Reflect on your resume and cover letter
  • Outreach brainstorming
  • Finalize your outreach plan
  • Execute your outreach plan

Review: Best Practices for Resumes & Cover Letters

Let’s go back to the application process:

Job Search Strategy Chart

Step #4 reflects the part where you’ll focus on your resume and cover letter. Reminder of best practices for those:

Resume Highlights

  • Your resume should be a direct reflection of the strategy you’re using in the job search
  • Technical Resumes lead with projects
  • Customizing your resume is about telling your story

Cover Letter Highlights

  • Your cover letter should be the direct result of the research you’ve done into the company
  • Cover letters are about the company; talk about yourself only in relation to the company
  • Always customize your cover letters
  • Tell your story in a concise way – utilize an elevator pitch

Where You Should Be at This Point in the Mod

You should have:

  • A working draft of your resume & used CV Compiler
  • Had a peer review on a cover letter

Haven’t done these yet?

  • Prioritize them before the end of the module
  • Alert Tracey or Ryan on where you are with your progress

Outreach & Networking for an Application

Again, reminder of the application process:

Job Search Strategy Chart

You shouldn’t submit an application without completing Step #3! Why? Outreach should be a key component of your application strategy, especially when job searching during a pandemic.

Why is that?

  • Everyone is working from home and wants to connect
  • Follow up with previous interviews, event connections, and other contacts
  • LinkedIn & other social media are key to your search right now
    • Make sure it’s up to date!
    • Ask for LinkedIn recommendations/endorsements (staff, peers, colleagues, mentors)
    • Share and post! (Twitter, GitHub, LinkedIn)

Reviewing Your Outreach Strategy

Start by getting clear on what your purpose is – why are you reaching out to someone at the company?

  • This is how you do research on the company, and you can then use that information both in your cover letter and in interviews
  • This allows you to connect with a person in order to build relationships at the company, exchange information, and expand both your networks – therefore, it’s mutually beneficial
  • Your hoped for outcome here is to become a referral candidate

And the only way you can become a referral candidate is if you include outreach as an essential component of your job search strategy.

Next, you need to consider who to contact:

  • Start with any warm contacts you have at the company. This could include Turing alumni or friends of friends or people you worked with once. These are all warm contacts.
  • Software developers who work at the company. They are doing the jobs you want to do! They will have the most relevant insight into the role you’re looking at. Start with people who are in senior or team management positions.
  • Recruiters. If the company utilizes recruiters or talent acquisition people, they are definitely good people to reach out to. They can speak to the hiring process and make sure your name gets in front of the necessary people.

It’s important to note that many private companies offer referral bonuses to employees who refer a candidate who goes on to get hired, so not only is it in your best interest to create a strong relationship with someone at the company, but it is in theirs as well! All you have to do is reach out and ask to talk…which brings us to…

What do you say?

  • Research your contact so you can make connections to their interests/accomplishments by looking at their LinkedIn, Twitter, blog posts, or even just googling them
  • Prepare a message that includes:
    • A quick intro – who are you?
    • Purpose/connection – why are you reaching out? Be straightforward
    • Specifics – what do you know about them? What do you know about the company?
    • Questions – what do you want to learn from them?

Note: keep your message short and sweet!

Reminder about things NOT to say in messages:

  • Asking for referrals without establishing a relationship first. You will make your contact uncomfortable and halt the relationship right away.
  • Asking for a job. This is not something the contact can do, and again, you’ll ruin the relationship before it’s even started.
  • Sending a LinkedIn request with no introduction. If you have not met this person in real life (which includes conversing over Slack), then you need to introduce yourself first.
  • Generic templates that haven’t been customized. People can tell when you’ve sent them a form email. Don’t do this.

How do you contact people? Again, LinkedIn is a great place to start, but reminder that if you’re reaching out to a Turing alum, start with Slack!

Otherwise, find their email by using one of these tools:

Putting This Into Practice

Once again, this week’s career journal is focused on making a plan for conducting outreach for the company you’ve been targeting. You’ll also get an opportunity to discuss ideas with a small group during the session.