[02.03.10]
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5 Ways To Leverage Co-Workers To Land Your Next Job

The following is a guest post by Jörgen Sundberg.

leverage, co-workers, networking, job search

When we think of a new job, we think of contacting recruiters, trawling job boards and perhaps speaking to our network. One often overlooked channel is all around you in the office – your dear colleagues. Some workplaces have a very open culture and discuss job change in the open, at other places people wouldn’t dare to mention that they have even thought of it. I have come up with a  few ways you can leverage your coworkers to get your next job, here is the list:

1. Offer to be a referee

Tell all your work mates that you are very happy to be a reference at the bottom of their resume, complete with your job title, email and phone number. Recruiters and employers love to call you up and take a reference, then casually seeing what you are up to and whether you would entertain a few opportunities. This way you get a win-win situation, you help out as a referee and you get headhunted in the process. Whatever happens to your colleague’s job search, you are now on the radar screen of the recruiter and/or employer and you have established a good personal contact that you would never have got from an online application.

2. Make it known that you are open to suggestions

By the water cooler you will hopefully get the chance to speak openly about your career with colleagues. You want to let it slip that you have been ‘contacted by a headhunter’ and they had some interesting ideas that you are considering. This will let them know that while you are not desperate for a new job, you will keep your options open – perfect information to pass on to their recruiter contact. Anyone that keeps a consistent contact with recruiters will know that they keep asking you for referrals, so you are actually helping your coworker out by indicating you are game. Not to mention the fact that they could actually be paid a nice little bounty in case you accept a job through that particular recruiter.

3. Track others’ movements

Some people are like meerkats in the office and will know exactly what is going on with everyone. Make it your goal to know what career moves people are contemplating. What recruiters are they talking to? Where are they interviewing? Ask recent leavers how they got their jobs. Ask recent joiners what other opportunities they were considering. Again, some people prefer to keep this very hush hush and others are very liberal with information . If don’t feel like being that nosey in person, simply do some sleuthing online by looking people up on Linkedin and see what recruiters, HR representative and competitors they are connected to, this will give you a pretty good idea of what the situation is.

4. Associate yourself with the best

Here’s your scenario: a fellow on your team happens to be a bit of a guru in his field. He writes for publications on- and off-line, gives talks and has a very strong personal brand. He is a candidate recruiters would love to represent and other employers would love to have on-board. Headhunters and competitors will run searches on him to a.) find him and b.) see what he is up to. Here’s what you do: associate yourself with him as much as you can. Write comments on his blog or even a guest post. Write material online that mentions you and him on the same page, mention him on your Linkedin profile and so on.  When anyone runs a search on him, your name will come up as well, fancy that… Stalking? Maybe. Getting you in the spotlight? Definitely!

5.  Ask the silver fox in the corner

There is always someone older and wiser in your office. Chances are they have had a long and illustrious career, they have probably hit a few high and lows in their days, and would make an excellent mentor if only you ask them. Senior members of staff love to talk about themselves (don’t we all) and will be glad to give you the inside scoop of the industry, including what recruiters and headhunters they have relationships with. The silver fox has no fear of management (as they are nearing their retirement anyway) and will happily set you up with relevant people from their network.

Bottom line

These were only five methods you can leverage your colleagues, I am sure you can think of a lot more. The point is that everyone around can help you with your job search, never ever rely on a recruiter or a job board to sort things out for you. You will only land your dream job if you really work smart and hard at it, best of luck and happy coworker leveraging now!

About Jörgen Sundberg: After 7 years in international recruitment, Jörgen Sundberg set up The Undercover Recruiter to share his best pearls of wisdom with job seekers worldwide. He offers services in the personal branding, job search and social networking fields. Jörgen hails from Sweden and is based in London, UK and serves clients globally.

You can also follow Jörgen on Twitter as @jorgensundberg and @undercoverrec.  I also recommend you join his Linkedin group and Facebook Fan Page.

Oh, and when you visit his site, be sure to look for my guest post there as well!


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Finding New Job

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