Getting a Job is About Who You Know!

by | May 31, 2011 | 2 comments

Someone recently told me “I know I will get a job with that company because a friend of the owner referred me. I think the owner owes a favor to my friend.”

This is a common perception about getting work – it is all about who you know. I asked this person “Does the owner of the company owe your friend over $100,000 in favors? After all, that is how much you are going to cost him.”

We always feel like those with connections get the jobs – but the truth is those with the connections get the OPPORTUNITIES. (Yes. This is true – like it or not!) Hiring decisions are rarely true favors. If I refer someone to a friend in a company, they know I am only speaking towards a person’s character and willingness to serve. Sure, character and willingness to work are of great importance – but I am often a poor judge of a person’s competence in a particular field.

So if you have been referred by a mutual contact, you have been given a wonderful opportunity. Here is what you need to do.

1. Your character is most often the one thing they are referring you on. So your contact thinks you have character. Do not disappoint!

2. Prepare. Learn about the company and the positions they offer. Even better, go do a reverse interview of sorts with the contact and learn what they care about instead of doing a job interview.

3. If you do an interview, dress appropriately and show up on time. Again, you should always do this, but now you are carrying the reputation of your mutual friend with you.

4. Be thankful no matter how it goes! You may not be hired into this position for many reasons. But no matter what happens, remember to thank both parties for helping you find this opportunity.

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Dale Callahan

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  1. Chase W

    Time and time again people continue to hire people they know. This has been a trend since the beginning of time, and will continue to be as our world changes. More, now than ever, it is important to have a strong network of professional friends to guide you through your startup, business, or profession. Dale constantly reminds his clients, as well as his students, to build a strong network so when the time comes, you know someone who matters. Knowing someone who matters is all that matters. Always remember that.

  2. Joey Beck

    This rings true today with so many qualified people out of work, it is not as easy to take a chance on someone just because of a referral. I’ve seen referrals go nowhere just as often as I’ve seen them lead to an offer. The important thing to remember is that “who you know” is the best tool you can have at your disposal when scouting job offers or business leads. With so much out there to choose from, you have to find a way to become more attractive of an opportunity or you may not get a chance to pitch yourself. Don’t forget the people that referred you either, as they are the ones sticking their reputation out there on your behalf. If you do not to live up to the expectations that have been set for you, then it is not only you who will have failed to impress.

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