Crowdsourced Job Search
March 24, 2011 3:38 PM   Subscribe

I've decided to reach out to my network and crowdsource my job search. Can you give me some advice so this goes smoothly and is as successful as possible?

I currently have a safe, secure job, but I'm on the market for something new. I'm getting frustrated and tired trying to find new opportunities while managing my current job and my other life obligations. I'm thinking about sending out a blanket email to my friends and former colleagues, and make the following offer: "If you send me a job listing (at your company or elsewhere) that is a fit for my background, and I apply, get an offer, and accept that offer, I'll pay you a $1000. If you pass this along to your network of friends or colleagues, and someone you send it to finds me a job, I'll pay you $750 and them $500."

In the email, I'll include a kitchen sink version of my resume (longer than normal, since it's more general and not tailored for a specific job/company), and some background details about what I'm looking for in my next role. But, before I do this, I've got some questions and could use some advice:

1 - Details: Aside from what's in my resume, I want to include some text in the body of the email to give some background about what I've done in my career, and what I'm looking for. What types of information should I provide, or what questions should I answer?

2 - Their Money: Is the $1000 or $750/$500 the right amount? From my perspective, given the time and effort it's saving me, it is a small price to pay. But what about from the recipient's perspective? If you got this email, would it be enough to motivate you?

3 - My Money: I have a great salary now. I don't want a job that pays less than this, but I don't want to broadcast my salary information to everyone I know. How can I address this without giving away what I make now, but in a manner that keeps people from sending me listing far below my salary goal?

4 - Other: What else could I say, do, or offer to make this effort successful? Any other advice or recommendations?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If I got this email from you, we would no longer be friends because apparently you want to pay me to do what friends (and family) do for ech other. Additionally, I would never, ever recommend you for any job ever, because apparently you have serious issues with judgement, personal and business decorum and appropriate boundaries.

Do. Not. Want.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:47 PM on March 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Whatever. I'd totally do it.
posted by runningwithscissors at 3:51 PM on March 24, 2011


I should add that I would pass on your info only if I already knew or a position or organization that would be a good fit. I would not spend much time digging and doing your research for you.
posted by runningwithscissors at 3:53 PM on March 24, 2011


This is not how networking works; you don't blanket people and try to buy them off to go to bat for you.

Take two hours and write a quick note to the most relevant friends/colleagues, ask them how life is/what's new, give them a rundown on what's going on in your life and then mention you're looking for a new opportunity and, if they know of one, to pass your resume along.

Treating people in your network as more than just a network is one of the most important parts of having a useful network.
posted by dflemingecon at 3:55 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


If someone feels strongly enough about your qualifications, you shouldn't have to pay them to recommend you! I agree that it's slightly offputting - I'd totally help a friend if I knew of a job that was a good fit, but for whatever reason, I wouldn't do it if there was money involved.
posted by ella wren at 3:58 PM on March 24, 2011


Yeah, I would find the offer of money weird. As a favor to a friend, I'd be really willing to help. As a sweepstakes, not so much.

I did this for my last job search and it paid off in spades. Got a ton of leads and lots of support, too. It's not too hard. I didn't even really personalize the email, but I said right off the bat I was entering the job market and believed the help of friends and colleagues was the most valuable thing I could imagine having.

Just greet everyone and tell them

A. why you're looking for new work
B. what kind(s) of work you are interested in
C. the ways in which your work history to date makes you a great candidate for B - keep it to 1 graf
D. whether you will relocate and if so, within what parameters
E. what kinds of help you'd like (leads, listing services, informational interview possibilities, ads, a cup of coffee and some idea strategizing...)
F. profuse thanks and an offer to do the same for them sometime

In mine, I also added a link to my LinkedIn and asked them to link me if they used the service, and invited them to feel free to forward my resume.

Definitely don't offer the money. It just seems like a bribe.
posted by Miko at 4:00 PM on March 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would be concerned that word would get back to my current employer. Casting such a wide net seems risky. Maybe you are special and have amazing skills and are irreplaceable enough, but with the job market how it is, I would take care not to put myself out of work trying to find something better.
posted by elpea at 4:22 PM on March 24, 2011


Also, the money thing is weird an unclassy.
posted by elpea at 4:22 PM on March 24, 2011


The money thing comes across to me as a sort of creepy desperation.
posted by Zophi at 4:40 PM on March 24, 2011


I'd recommend checking out Highly Effective Networking by Orville Pierson. His strategy will be more work for you than what you've proposed above, but it'll probably produce better results.
posted by mr frosted at 6:21 PM on March 24, 2011


Offering your friends/colleagues money definitely sounds weird to me. In my game, many companies give their own employees a bonus if they refer a candidate who gets hired, so there's no reason for you to also pay them. That just seems like sucking up.

Just contact people in your field who you can trust and respect and let them know you're looking. If they think they might be able to help, they'll ask for a resume, or give you a contact.

At least, that's my experience.
posted by Diag at 7:46 PM on March 24, 2011


I meant to say "people in your field who you can trust and respect you"
posted by Diag at 7:50 PM on March 24, 2011


Yeah, this strikes me as weird. A buddy got a blanket "networking" email from a friend of a friend. Even not knowing that the email sender was a total flake, she didn't want to help her because it was vague and impersonal. I think it'd be more helpful for you and the people who you plan to email if you picked like 10 people who actually work places where you're interested in working or in fields that interest you.

I think networking is about building relationships. That doesn't happen in a blanket email.
posted by kat518 at 8:31 PM on March 24, 2011


A friend of mine posted an offer of $1000 for finding the right position for her on her FB page. I didn't think it was weird or creepy; it made it stand out among ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE LOOKING FOR JOBS. If she'd been my best friend, of course, she would have stood out anyway, but since she isn't, it definitely made me keep her in mind.

If I'd gotten an email from her, I don't know if I would have thought that was weird and intrusive or not. Maybe so--I don't know anything about her field in particular.
posted by wintersweet at 9:22 PM on March 24, 2011


Agreed that money is a little off putting.

You should also know that many large companies will pay the employee a referral bonus if they refer a friend who gets hired. I think one of my friends made $5K off me that way.

You don't need to mention salary if you can use title as a proxy. Any of the salary websites should give you a target range for the titles you might be qualified for, and you can ask about titles without revealing your current salary or the salary you are looking for.

I'd target friends who work at companies you want to work for, and reach out for a casual conversation about the company. Tell them you are looking, but keep it low key and conversational. Once you know if you are actually interested in the company your friend will probably be willing to keep an ear to the ground to see if anything is available. A phone conversation will keep your info more confidential than an email that can be forwarded to your current employer also.

Knowing someone in the company will give you access to internally posted jobs as well (in this economy I don't think as many jobs are externally posted).

Here's a sample email:

Hey friend,

[small talk, small talk]

I know you work for Acme Corp. Would you be willing to chat with me about how you like it? I'm happy with my job, but I'm thinking about looking around a little. I'm targeting a VP Operations role and would love your input.

Thanks!

Anonymous

posted by rainydayfilms at 8:24 AM on March 25, 2011


I'm not sure why but the money incentive doesn't bother me much. I don't think it's particularly weird or off-putting (it doesn't seem that different from recommending a friend for a job at a company you work at and receiving a recruitment bonus if they're hired), though I suppose I can see how it could be construed as such. That said, I agree that it's probably unnecessary and someone as fair-minded as you seem to be will almost certainly have people willing to help you out for free.
posted by kryptondog at 8:26 AM on March 25, 2011


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