In 1973, Mark Granovetter, Princeton and Harvard grad, American sociologist and professor at Stanford University, published a landmark study on the spread of information in social networks.

Q: What is one of the strongest ways to learn about a job opening or to land an interview?

A: No surprise – the answer is through their network.

Big surprise –  it isn’t necessarily from someone you already know.

Granovetter’s study became known as “The Strength of Weak Ties”.

The study showed that people would often get jobs through someone they networked or interacted with only on one or rare occasions.

The way to the new job came from someone who knew someone or someone they came to know through a weak tie, a loose connection.

According to Granovetter, it isn’t how close you are to someone, or even how high up in an organization someone is, that helps in the job search.

It’s the fact that, because you don’t know them well, their network is different than yours.

They know different people and have different information than you or your close connections.

Of course, if you’re on a job search, ask for introductions and get advice from your close-in network, then tap into your weak ties for new information, new leads, new ideas and new introductions.

Try These Weak Tie Networking Tips

  • Go into your university alumni member database and find someone who works at the company you’re considering. Then reach out and ask them for help.
  • Remember that business card you put in the drawer from that person you met at that event last year? Pull it out and email them about your job search.
  • Remain open and curious as you go about your Saturday errands. Who might your FedEx driver know?  What about the person next to you at the nail salon?  The nurse at your doctor’s office?  An ex-employee? A previous classmate or professor?  Past mentors or mentees?

All of these people can be a weak tie connection for you.

You may feel uncomfortable and that’s OK.  They might not remember you. That’s OK too.

Put yourself in their shoes. If someone reached out to you who you had never met but went to the same college as you and they were asking for your help, would you give it? The answer is more than likely yes.

People naturally want to help people

Feel your fear and then make the call, send the email or connect on LinkedIn.

Turn that weak tie into your next job offer.

Sign up for a Career Strategy Session today and let’s figure out your weak tie connections together. Sign Up Today!