Networking My Way to a Job

My resume is updated and the job search has begun. In the last three months of my job search, networking has been the best method of job hunting.

At first, I looked for jobs online. My experience and training best qualifies me to work with children or in higher education administration, so I began my search by looking at job postings at local school districts and area colleges and universities. This method did yield a couple of applications and interviews, but most of the time, I felt like I was sending my resume into black hole after black hole.

One conversation at a dinner party changed my approach.

The Elevator Pitch

On a sultry September evening, Andy and I were enjoying hors d’oeuvres at one of his colleague’s homes. She is a lovely woman: gracious, hospitable, brilliant, yet humble. Her house reminded me of the home of a couple of college professors that lived in my neighborhood growing up: full of interesting travel souvenirs, walls of books and quirky yet attractive furniture. I usually feel out-of-place at these sort of gatherings, since I am usually the only one without an advanced degree or full-time employment. But tonight was different. Conversation flowed easily, and my plate was full of delicious food.

Then our hostess turned to me and asked, “Ginny, what do you do?” I explained that I spent the last eleven years as a stay-at-home mom, but that now I was looking for employment again.

Her face lit up, “What kind of employment are you looking for?”

I froze. My mind went blank. Her question caught me off-guard, and I did not have a good answer. I think I answered her eventually by saying that I wasn’t sure what kind of work I wanted. Then I quickly switched topics to talk about her dog.

On the way home, Andy gently rebuked me for not having a prepared answer to her question.

“You need to have an elevator pitch,” he said. “You know, like a sales pitch. A one minute answer about the kind of job you’re looking for and your qualifications.” He was right.

The Results

Since that night, I have written my one minute elevator pitch. It sounds very similar to the “objective” section of my resume, and now I am ready to deliver it when someone asks me about my job search.

I have also sent my resume to one of our pastors, a friend-of-a-friend, and an elder in our church. Though nothing has yielded a job yet, my efforts have yielded several leads that I continue to pursue. These contacts also provide clear means of follow-up.

How can you begin to tap your network today? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Write your elevator pitch, and practice delivering it in conversation to people like:

  • neighbors
  • other parents at your children’s school
  • people that you meet at the gym
  • social media
  • people at your children’s school
  • people from church or your place of worship
  • people that you meet at your children’s soccer games, dance classes, etc


Published by

Andy and Ginny

We are a married couple living in San Antonio, Texas who are delving into the adventure of buying a house with a zero credit score and trying to help other people do the same.

2 thoughts on “Networking My Way to a Job”

  1. Does this good advice apply to a retired 65 year old woman? I’d say, “Yes”, and I am challenged to write my own elevator pitch. It’s healthy to be strategic when making decisions about how to use one’s time. A succinct statement would help.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. I did not think about an elevator pitch being a way to prioritize time, but I think you’re right! Thanks for commenting.

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