As job markets continue to evolve, networking remains a powerful tool for finding employment opportunities. More than 80% of all jobs are found through networking according to a LinkedIn study. So, I thought I would share some ideas about how both recent graduates and seasoned professionals can find a new position.
Here are six networking steps that can help someone who is looking for a job.
1.Cultivate a Confident Mindset
Desperation is not referable. Approach networking with confidence, rather than desperation. You will be depending on your network to vouch for you and speak highly of you to their hiring manager and their contacts, so confidently showcase your skills and abilities.
2.Curate Your Online Presence
Ensure that all of your social media accounts project a professional image. Potential employers often review online profiles, so make sure yours reflects positively on you; you don’t want to make your network look bad if they recommend you.
I once checked out the Facebook page of someone I was considering hiring. OMG! There were excessive swearwords in most of his posts, along with many inappropriate comments and tirades about people. He was not the kind of influence I wanted in my office.
3.Leverage Existing Relationships
Start by connecting with friends, family and business contacts, both in person and on platforms like LinkedIn. Communicate your job search goals, telling them exactly what kind of position you’re looking for. Ask them to keep an eye out for suitable openings.
4.Tap Into Diverse Contacts
Expand your network beyond your immediate circles and connections. Reach out to neighbors, professional organizations, past clients, and community groups for additional contacts. Sometimes, even weak ties can lead to valuable job referrals.
5.Categorize Your Contacts
Assess the nature of your relationships – active, passive, or dormant, and then tailor your approach accordingly. This is my strategy to approach each of them.
Active – pick up the phone and ask for assistance. You have a relationship with them; most likely, they will love to help you.
Passive – set an appointment to reconnect with them, preferably in person. Find out about them and how they’re doing and let them know you’re looking for something.
Dormant – reconnect through social media or email. Just talk. Don’t ask for anything – yet. Stay in touch and gradually build the relationship before you ask.
Engage in face-to-face networking by visiting companies in the industry you are interested in. Check in with the front desk, drop off your resume, and ask to meet with the HR director. Even better, find out if someone in your network can connect you to a current employee in that company.
Once you get a referral or a great connection, do these two things.
Research the Prospective Employer
Prepare thoroughly before interviews. Learn about the company’s history, their corporate culture and values, and any recent news or latest press releases – whatever you can find. Checking out their website is only the start. Research the organization to get more information. If possible, research the interviewers to gain insights into their professional backgrounds.
I landed one of the biggest jobs of my career (before starting BNI and long before Google) because I researched the company and knew so much about the organization and the professional background of the person interviewing me that it blew him away and he hired me.
Offer a “Working Interview”
Suggest a “working interview” to showcase your talents and work ethic. It is a great way for a company to take your experience for a “test drive.” It will give you an opportunity to show them what you’re made of. This approach allows employers to assess your suitability for the role in a practical manner. If all goes well, ask them to consider you for the position. A successful “working interview” can lead to immediate job offers.
I have been recommending this to job-seekers for many years. I once suggested this idea to my eldest daughter. She tried it out with a company she wanted to work for, and they took her up on the “working interview” offer. She did such a great job, they hired her the next day!
Networking remains an indispensable approach for job seekers across all career states. By following these steps and integrating the strategies, you can navigate the competitive job market with greater confidence and increased chances of success. Share this with someone you know who is looking for employment.
Has networking helped you find a job? I’d love to hear your experience; share in the comments below.
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