By, Jessica Knutzon
During Professional Development Week, Mike Tomasello led a workshop on successful networking. Tomasello’s workshop, aptly called “Superhero Networking For Success,” covered how to tap into the hidden job market (job openings that are never formally posted) by networking. These jobs, which make up 80% of hires, are only found by talking to the right people and doing it well.
The first step is “to think like a <<blank>>.” This means that you really need to put yourself into the mindset of whoever it is you want to be. Think, talk, and act like the person you want to be: learn about the industry, sub-industry and function of that position. Think about how the employer or the person you are talking to can benefit from you. Bring these qualities with you when networking for your dream job.
Tomasello went into great detail about how to find “superheroes” at events. He suggested attending events that are related to your industry and looking for contacts in cities that have the jobs you want. At events, talk to the most important people immediately, which are often the organizers and speakers. Starting a conversation at these events can be tricky and nerve-racking, so Tomasello recommends leading with questions and offer to serve your knowledge and information first. For example, if you are heading to New York (or anywhere you know your dream job is located) for a visit, send potential network contacts a message asking for 30 minutes to meet while you are there. Tomasello finds that people seldom turn down a request to talk about their jobs, companies and/or industries with those who are trying to learn more – just make sure you do not ask for a job. The process of learning and making contacts will make sure you are on that person’s mind when he or she is looking for someone to fill a position.
If you are starting from scratch and need a useful way to find people with whom to network, Tomasello advises using LinkedIn. Go to “Advanced Search” and type in the name of organization where you are trying to find a job into the keyword search because you want to maximize your search results. When you find a contact, it is best to send an email or call him/her directly. If those two options are not available, a LinkedIn message is a great alternative. When emailing a contact for the first time, hold off on sending your resume until the moment is appropriate.
Tomasello is a motivational speaker, trainer, and author. Tomasello is the co-founder of Sofia Project, which through university scholarship and mentor programs, develops female business leaders in Colombia. Tomasello’s book, Superhero Job Offers: The Secrets & Superpowers That Even Top 10 Schools Don’t Know, will be released soon. Tomasello, class of 2007, is still active in the Thunderbird community and is both an alumni ambassador and alumni chapter leader of Los Angeles. He received his Bachelors of Science at Purdue University. To learn more about Tomasello, visit his about.me website.