“I’m listening to your networking sessions. I have a specific question re: “approach.” I have a contact that I’m linked to via LinkedIn. I also worked with her on a major initiative. She currently is at the Director level and there is a manager level position being advertised.
I have her work phone number and email address, but obtained them from someone else. Also, I can contact her via LinkedIn or her personal address. How should I contact her? Should I indicate I found a particular job for which I am qualified and interested or ask for an informational interview or a few minutes over coffee?”
Think about what you are trying to achieve via your networking. While your ultimate goal is to get hired, your goal for each individual networking contact is to:
- Equip them with your target, and why you would be an outstanding candidate for that target.
- Get them to introduce you to someone else.
Think of it as building a spider web that catches possibilities for you. How well you do #1 is the strength of that node in your network. #2 is sending some more web out to build the next node.
Now think of how to reach out to someone to accomplish this. As soon as it’s about a direct approach to helping you find a job, you have less chance of getting the meeting, and restrict the possibilities for both #1 and #2, particularly #2.
I’d suggest reaching out to get a chance to meet over coffee and catch up. In the meeting, depending on how the conversation goes, you can mention that there’s a position you are interested in finding out more about.
As to how to contact her, it depends on the relationship you have with her. If you have a personal relationship, there’s nothing wrong with using her personal email to reach out.