Resume Tips: Use Your Connections!

By Jeremy Cyrus 02/16/2013
Resume Tips: Use Your Connections!

You know that a strong, diverse, active network is a vital tool during the job search process. And you have no trouble picking up the phone and reaching out to those on your list of connections who might be able to help you or offer you some advice. But networking isn't just about grabbing the phone in an emergency or using Facebook to look up your long lost thesis advisor and ask for a recommendation. Using your connections can also mean name-dropping. Here's how to leverage your existing relationships to generate new ones.

Be a Name Dropper (in a Good Way)

  1. As you write your cover letter, think carefully about your addressee. Do you know anyone who might also have a relationship with this person? Don't just reflexively say no. Do some poking around first. Turn to LinkedIn and Google and see if you might share some industry connections that aren't obvious on the surface.

  2. If you do share a common connection or mutual friend, state this early in the letter—within the first sentence if possible. Especially if the mutual connection once introduced the two of you or had a direct impact on your decision to apply.

  3. Your shared connections might not be the names of specific people; they may actually be institutions, companies you both once worked for, recognizable projects that influenced you or vice versa, or even university teams or social organizations.

  4. Be classy. Don't bend the truth, overstate the closeness of the relationship you mention, or force a reference to a fifth degree connection in a transparent attempt to establish common ground. But as long as you stay within the bounds of truth and tact, leave no personal or professional link unexplored.

  5. If your resume features a former employer, high profile project, or client name that this person is likely to recognize, don't fail to include it, and make sure this information stands out. Turn to Free Resume Builder for more information on highlighting your most important credentials.

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