Job Seekers Succeed for One Simple Reason…
Networking is the best way to learn about new positions.
Even though job search networking may sound intimidating, it is one of the most successful ways to find a new job. It is more common than you realize to be offered a job or to find a contact simply due to a friend or acquaintance knowing your background and skills. If you are serious about finding the best position for your next career, move as quickly as possible, you must reach out and network.
What are the Benefits of Networking?
To be successful as you network, you must find the hidden, unadvertised job market and use every resource available to you.
Networking, when done correctly, will lead to plentiful contacts and friendships that can help you in every aspect of your career, including job hunting and your future career endeavors. It can prove to be more important than any other facet of your search.
Before Networking – Review Your Goals
What do you want others to know about you? What do you need to learn from them?
- What kind of job are you looking for?
- Do you want to look for jobs in one city/state?
- Are you focused on a certain industry?
- Do you want to find a job at a particular company?
- Have you attained the skills and experience required for this type of position?
Effective Networking Strategies
When starting out, remember, it’s never about blatantly asking for a job. It’s about talking things over one-on-one with someone you know (or someone who has been referred to you) about common interests and how you might be able to help them and their company.
Before diving into a lengthy narrative about yourself, be sure to ask common questions to get warmed up. Ask about family, friends, interests—topics that you wouldn’t mind discussing yourself. Once the conversation is flowing, you can shift gears the real reason for the call.
“I’m calling because I’m planning to make a job change soon. I am looking for a new opportunity that will both challenge and expand my skillset. Do you happen to know anyone who works within my target field who may be able to lead me in the right direction?”
Using this simple script as a guide may give you the confidence you need to open up and freely discuss options and career paths that may be available to you in the future.
Career Networking Tips
- Create an inventory of your educational background, accomplishments and work history. You never know when a casual interaction may lead to a contact.
- Your career network should include, but not be limited to family, friends, members of neighborhood associations, past or present co-workers, supervisors, and colleagues from other business connections. If you are part of an alumni club from your college or university, you may also find leads there.
- Use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and other online communities can help you get in touch with other networkers. Maybe those with college affiliations or that are in a certain geographic area. Also, keep in touch with your network often. This can be as simple as sending a quick note or email to say hello and to ask how they are doing. You want to make an impression and be remembered.
- Attend networking events. If you belong to any professional associations, attend a meeting or social function. Many of the attendees will have the same goals you do and will be glad to exchange information.
- Add notes to business cards or organize electronically, so you’ll remember the details of who you have just met. Also, follow through with referrals, and always thank contacts in writing or email.
Career Networking Works!
As you can see, career networking isn’t as hard as it seems and it really does work! Knowing how to ask for, and receive, the valuable information you need is the key to finding the right job or career position. It is important to have a solid network in place throughout your career and to use your network whenever possible, when job searching or exploring career options.
Don’t forget to look for opportunities to help others along the way. Through searching for your own needs to be met you may come across a position that would be a great fit for someone else in your network. Share the love and pass it on! Others will remember your thoughtfulness.