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Finding your next job - The Next Step Project
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3. Helping to connect to the right opportunities

1. The ask to connect

Always, always ask for permission before connecting your network - a warm introduction (2-way opt-in) is far more respectful & successful than a cold one. Here’s how to do it.

Timing
Before you send the email to your contact, check with the person asking you for an introduction: when do they want you to make that connection?
In most cases, the answer will be as soon as possible - but sometimes, life happens, and folks may actually need a little more time before you make that connection.
If this is the case, hold off until they’re ready and able to respond in a timely manner, otherwise you risk hurting your relationship both with your contact and the perception your contact may have of the person you’re referring to them.
The Blurb
Ask the job seeker to send you 2-3 sentences about themselves, including: their background / previous roles held, roles they’re interested in, and what they would like to learn from your contact. This is important because it helps provide you with more substance when you ask for the introduction.
Medium for asking
We’ve provided a pretty formal example here for contacts you may not be as close to - where you might reach out via email or LinkedIn messaging. In cases where it’s more casual (e.g., Facebook, Whatsapp, text, Slack), send your contact a shorter version of our message above. If they agree, ask them what’s the best means of connecting them (e.g., email or LinkedIn) and then follow through with a warm introduction.

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Opener
Keep it short and . Right now, that means acknowledging the general difficulty of these times without belaboring the point.
Remember: Double and triple check that you’ve correctly written out the name of your recipient! Getting the name wrong can make or break their willingness to engage and help out.
The Ask
Ask your contact if they’d be willing to let you connect them with someone and why you’d like to make the connection.
Background
Provide a succinct description of the person’s background and interests, which clarifies the need for making this connection.
The Closing
Close out the email and thank your contact for their willingness to help.

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