Stephen H., an active job seeker from Oakville, Ontario, is fully aware of the importance of networking. He's a sales professional who knows that, whether you're selling a product or selling yourself, it's all about finding new leads and building relationships. He keeps his LinkedIn profile updated, attends a job seekers' networking group, and has told all his professional contacts he's looking.
What he hadn't done, until recently, is reach out to his personal network, the people in his life who know him from non-work-related settings. This networking letter, sent to the families of his son's hockey team (who know him as the assistant coach) solves that problem:
Hello [Team Name] Families:
As I shared with some of you during our hockey season, I am in transition and looking for a new job. I’m writing you this note in hopes that you may help to expand my network to those people in the workplace. Below is a description of what would best align with my skills and expertise.
What I’m looking for:
- A senior sales & marketing role with a manufacturer or distributor of building materials or industrial products
- Ideally (but not necessarily) a business that has an associated "green" or environmental benefit.
- I have previously operated on a national basis with an emphasis on Ontario...currently residing in southern ON, but open to relocation opportunities.
- 20+ years of experience in technical sales & marketing with companies that manufacture building materials for the commercial, institutional, industrial, residential, agricultural, and road building construction markets.
- At their core, my past roles have always centered around securing business (that is, finding new customers and maintaining/growing existing accounts).
- Specific product lines have included masonry products (brick & stone), pre-engineered structural steel building systems, roll-formed metal products (wall and roof cladding, cold formed structural steel, OEM components etc.), and gravity drainage pipe (culverts).
- New business development
- Sales channel management
- Maintaining and growing existing accounts
- Sales team management
- Marketing strategy and direction
- Design-build consultative sales
- Hiring, training, and mentoring
- Architectural and engineering specifications
- Representation at industry associations
- Public speaking and presentations
- Event planning and coordination
- Website content management
Please don't hesitate to share this information freely. And let me know if anyone in your circle is also looking for a new opportunity—I’d be glad to share some of the resources I’ve found. In today’s marketplace, we all need to reach out to each other and tap into our networks. Your barber’s brother-in-law might have a tip for me, or my optometrist might have a lead for you.
Thanks for your help,
Phone Number: ____
LinkedIn Profile: ____
"This is not the letter I'd send to a potential employer
," Stephen points out. "It's for the people who know me as their kids' coach or the guy down the block. I realized that I have probably hundreds of people who know me, and presumably like me, who'd probably be glad to help me out. But they don't really know what I do. I'm hoping the letter might make somebody think, 'Oh, that sounds like what my wife's company does,' and pass on the letter to her, then she might pass it on to someone else. Or maybe someone might email me and say, 'I'm in the same boat, and here's what I'm looking for...' I don't think there's really a downside."
How do you feel about this kind of networking letter? Is it something you'd consider for your own job search? Or, how would you feel if a friend or acquaintance sent such a letter to you? Post your thoughts in a comment below.
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