Career Tip 26: Guerrilla Networking – Expand Your Network

Expand Your Network.

There are two basic ways to find a job: 1) seated (behind a computer) and 2) feeted (put on your shoes and go meet people). While others wait for a job posting to appear online, the guerrilla networker gets out, speaks up, and introduces herself.

Fifty percent of our clients find their next career step through some aspect of guerrilla networking. If you don’t go guerrilla, you are overlooking 50% of the available jobs.

Your guerrilla network

Research indicates the average person is connected with at least 50 other people. Guerrilla networkers begin by contacting their own list of 50+ people. Next, when contacting their network, they ask each person whom else they might contact as part of their job search. This step develops a second level of networking contacts.

Who knows the people you know?

Let’s do a little multiplication. If each of your 50 people refers you to two others, you now have 150 networking contacts. Chances are good that at least one of these people will know of a job opening that is of interest to you.

Connecting with others through the guerrilla approach is not the same as connecting through LinkedIn and Facebook, both of which connect you with people already in your network. Restricting your networking potential to people you are already connected with through social media is too limiting. The goal is getting the word out to others whom you do not know firsthand. It is your job to first find and then weave in new connections through emails, phone conversations, and face-to-face meetings. Are you making those connections?

The Job Dog regularly hears stories of job offers that began “my former co-worker …,” “my friend …,” “my sister…,” “my classmate’s father …,” “my barber … told me about a person I should contact, which led to …”

Look in the shadows

Networking and your networking database are too limited if you only consider people in your circle of direct contacts. You need to connect beyond your line-of-sight. In the diagram below, the “shadow” people—the friends of your network contacts—are the ones we are suggesting must be part of your guerrilla network.


Will every networking contact provide valuable information? No. You have to sort the sheep from the goats. Networking will result in:

5% = Ambassadors

You will find that approximately 5% of the people you connect with—1 in 20—will be positively inclined to help and will go out of their way to do so.

75% = When the Time Is Right

Seventy-five percent of the people you connect with may help you if the timing and circumstances are good. For them to do so, you will need to remind them of your objectives over a period of weeks or months. Make those contacts brief and to-the-point. Our experience is that the vast majority of people will do all they can to help; they just have competing priorities. That’s why you need to periodically let them know you are still looking.

20% = Deletions

Twenty percent of the people you connect with will not return your calls and will in some fashion let you know they are not inclined to help.  However, before you too-quickly delete them from your network, see the Times 7 Strategies Tip for more on why you should not give up too soon.

You have to decide. Are you willing to put forth extra effort to ensure other people know to contact you when they come across opportunities that could be yours?

Bonus Tips for Getting Others Meaningfully Involved

“How can I help with your job search?” When someone asks that question, choose your next step from this list of ideas.

  1. Provide a written copy of your resume—preferably a one-page summary. You can also send a business card.
  2. Try to connect with your contact once every few weeks. Out-of-sight too often means out-of-mind. Those conversations facilitate creativity and frequently lead to a new list of brainstormed opportunities.
  3. Ask your contact to review his business card file or his LinkedIn connections with your objectives in mind. These two activities may make connections that otherwise would have been overlooked.
  4. Ask your contact to periodically scan his company’s job posting system for related opportunities. Insider information can lead to opportunities not seen elsewhere.

Recommended Reading

The latest job-hunting strategies for the information age.

–The Job Dog

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today


Working this Tip made my perfect job appear.
– Paula D., a happy client

Working this Tip made my perfect job appear.
– Paula D., a happy client

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