In my last posts on “How to find a job in Switzerland” we discussed the résumé changes (#1) you have to do for Switzerland especially as well as how to put together a set of work references (#2) and then we went on to managing the interview (#3). Some of my advice is culture-specific to Swiss culture but I believe this one is more universal.
Did you ever receive an email that was so strikingly nice that you could not resist but had to pick up the phone and call the sender? Unless this was the love of your life maybe it was a person who knows how to communicate well in writing. Let’s call her Petra. Like Petra some of us have a talent for emails. If you are one of these people you could use your talent to help other people for example by writing a referral or a recommendation or even an #FF (Follow Friday recommendation on Twitter).
If you want to write a good referral it is important that you state the strengths of the person you are talking about. For example: You want to introduce Paul, a website developer to Susan, who is just starting her business. Ideally Paul’s strength meets a need of Susan. You could say “Susan, I recently worked with Paul. He developed my website in less than the time expected, amazed me with the end result and I even paid the price he originally quoted. With the start of your new business I thought you might need a good web designer. You can contact Paul best via email. Kindly cc me on the note so he knows that we are in touch. Petra”
If you are referring for networking purposes only you can look for a common interest of Paul and Susan: “Susan, I recently met Paul. Like you, he loves to travel backpacking style through remote locations. I thought you too would get along well so I wanted to connect you on Facebook. Is that ok for you? Petra”.
In order to do good referrals you need to kow the people in your network well. You should remember their hobbies, children and partners. You also need to learn to listen to your contacts when you go for lunch or dinner. Often, we just talk and completely forget to listen and remember details about the people we are meeting. Give it a try and let us know what happened.
Have an inspired day!