04/10/2016 by Melissa C. Martin
Warm contacts: How to create a list to maximize your networking plan
While you leave the military, networking is vital to transitioning to the civilian workforce. The GOOD news is that you already have
established a network of contacts from your military career. These contacts can include not only colleagues, but also underlings
(subordinates) and even higher ranks (superiors), if you enjoyed a good rapport with them already.
Now comes the first step, making a list of “warm contacts.” A warm contact list is a list of people that you contact when you are
looking for a job. These people are willing to help you in your search by offering information about current job openings, business
opportunities, or just to give you tips on looking for a job. So who belongs on your warm contact list?
Here are some people who might be willing to help:
Your primary level of contacts
Family and friends should always be first on your list of warm contacts. They are always willing to help or to give advice. They may be
able to give you information on job openings, or refer you to trustworthy people who might be able to help you. They can introduce you
to people who could help with your search, and provide honest information about the people you are associating with.
Secondary level of contacts.
As I mentioned earlier, former employers, co workers and even career managers are also instrumental to building your warm contact list.
It is important to keep a good relationship with former employers because a potential employer will most likely call past employers to see
what kind of a worker you were and why you no longer have that job anymore. Past employers can also give you information on that field and that could help in your job search. When you ask family and friends about information it can very well be second hand or rumours.
Third level of contacts People who share the same beliefs and hobbies as you are often willing to help you with your job search.
Members of your faith/worship community, political party, fraternity, or alumni group usually will help you with your job search. They may give you information or they could also think twice about giving it to you. Their opinion of the people they can connect you with could help you build a strategy on how to approach them and ask them for their help.
Other individuals you want to have on your warm contacts list are people who sell you tangible or intangible products or services.
Who comes to mind?
Bankers, mortgage advisors, insurance agents, doctor, dentist, specialist, barber (they know everything!), mechanic, renovator, children’s sports coach…..the list goes on.
Don’t discount what we call the “weak ties” or the people YOU think are least likely to help.
You may think that your relationship doesn’t extend past the retail and business you have together, but more than likely they will be willing to help you your chosen civilian career. These people know that maintaining a stable relationship is crucial to the business that you conduct together. They may be a good source because they know a lot of different people and associate with them on a daily basis. They could be able to refer you to someone they know in the same you are targeting.
A professional organization related to the field you are looking to go into can give you unbiased information on job openings with their members. These organizations can also give you information on a business or company that interests you.
Linkedin- Consistently, the research bears out that hiring managers and recruiters are using LI to search for passive and active job seekers.
They check your online presence, reputation and professional circles Since Linked in in is a professional networking site, join for free TODAY and
start sending out invitations. You will soon build a valuable list of contacts, based on the six degrees of separation.
Twitter-This is a powerful job search tool, often undermined and overlooked for networking,positioning yourself as a subject matter expert and branding.
If you don’t know how to tap into the social media to network, go to the home page of this site and click on the link for
my Twitter webinar. The webinar is also on You Tube, with a link to www.careerealism.com where I was a former career expert.
Facebook-I often ask clients, “Who are the most willing people to help you?”
Family and friends! Go on Facebook and ask for their help.
For more on using social media, go to my “articles” section and check out “best social media practices” on this site.
Do you need a credentialed coach help you with transitioning to civvy street? Need Linkedin makeover to attract employers and land job offers?
Please email me at email@example.com
Melissa C. Martin