Here's a unique way to help your network help you find a job

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 08:53 AM |

Here's a unique way to help your network help you find a job

Simply sending an email to someone in your network asking them to help you find a job may not be enough. Here’s a better idea. Photo: flickr.com/bittermelon

Over the course of your career you may have amassed a great network of people that could help you get a job. That old uni lecturer or TAFE teacher, a former colleague who now works in a not-for-profit organisation, or someone you volunteered overseas with.

All of these people could be extremely useful to you in the hunt for your dream job – but is dropping them a line letting them know you’re looking for work enough?

Or is there something else you could be doing?

According to Kristen Door from the New Organizing Institute there is – it’s called a “brag book”!

What on earth is a brag book?

The name is a little misleading but the concept is simple.

Rather than being a book of you bragging about yourself – a “brag book” is actually a really useful written document that you can circulate to your network to let them know what they can do to help you in your search for a new job.

How to make your own brag book

Creating your own brag book is easy – all you need is some time to really think about what you want from your next job.

Your brag book should be a 1-2 page, typed document that contains the following info:

  • What kind of job you want.  This could include a specific title like “project manager” or job attributes like “working in a small team” or something more descriptive like this example from the New Organising Institute template“A job where it’s my responsibility to manage deliverables effectively toward deadlines, this could range from the launching of a website … to project management”;
  • What kind of organisation you want to work for - what broad sectors you’re interested in (and why), as well as examples of specific organisations;
  • Whether you would be willing to relocate for a job, and to where – for instance, if you’re willing to move to a regional or remote area, or to another capital city;
  • What your ideal salary range is;
  • What specifically your network can do to help you – this may vary depending on who it is you’re asking. For example: Do you want them to endorse you on LinkedIn? Introduce you to someone in their workplace or wider network, or have them take a look at your CV?
  • How a potential employer should get in touch with you – your preferred email and phone number.

If you’re having trouble picturing what that might look like take a look at this great example from the New Organizing Institute.

The benefits of a brag book

There are quite a few benefits to approaching networking in this new way.

  • It gives your network a clear set of parameters so that they don’t waste time sending you job openings or recommending you for jobs that you don’t want;
  • It forces you to reflect on what is important to you when seeking our your dream job – and what you’d be willing to forego too. What are the deal-breakers for you?
  • If you’re unsure about approaching someone in your network, the brag book can help you clarify what it is that you’re really asking of people in your network.

Give this a go next time you’re asking your networks to help you find a job!

Have you ever created a brag book or something similar before? We’d love to know what you reckon, and how it worked out for you.

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