Look for Advocates, not Referrals

Eric Hoke
September 16, 2023
5 min read
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Referrals are cool but advocates are game-changers!

If you have spent any amount of time with me you know I have nothing but bad things to say about the "Spray and Pray" technique of job searching.

"Pray and Spray" simply means you go onto Indeed and send your same ole resume to any job that looks remotely interesting. The reason why I HATE this method is because it feels like you're being productive, I mean you're applying to jobs, right?

Yet, even if you're qualified for that job, you only have about a 1% chance of getting a callback. That is why I suggest referrals! Some studies put referrals at a 40% chance of receiving a callback for an interview. It's literally a no brainer.

Not sure where to start with referrals? Watch my free videos here to get started.

But there is one step higher than a referral and that is an advocate for you internally!

This is someone who not only refers you (which takes 3 minutes) but someone who will advocate for you internally which could take weeks or months.

How do they do that?

1. They directly message the hiring manager and recruiter for roles you applied for and hype you up.
2. They refer you to jobs that are only on internal job boards (did you 70% of jobs are never posted publicly?).
3. They network you with people who work on the teams that you would want to work on.

Sounds amazing, right? But you're a pastor and you don't know anyone who can be your advocate. I know, I heard all the excuses.

Here's a good place to start:

1. Create a LinkedIn and add everyone you know dating back to high school.
2. Spend time perusing people's profiles and start making notes of people who work in companies that you may be interested in.
3. Start networking baby! Send some messages, ask to connect and share you want to hear more about what they're up. Be honest here. No one wants to waste their time so share that you're considering a career change.
4. (Most important) Keep the relationship warm. What does this mean? Stay in touch. If they post something, comment on it, if you find something of value, share it with them. Be a distant stalker. Not creepy but admiring.
5. When the time is right, ask for a referral. Once they refer you, send them a small gift. A $10 Starbucks Gift Card goes a long way. Turn your referral into your advocate.

Despite what my fundamentalist Baptist upbringing told me, people are genuinely nice and want to help others but it does require legwork on your behalf.

To passively and lazily apply to jobs will result passive and lazy results. To be focused in on generating relationships with advocates who can work with you to find a job will result in a fantastic role in no time.

Just do the work.

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