In today’s market, it’s very difficult to secure a new job. You may have applied to thousands or secured an interview, but have no luck in landing a job. They say it’s all about who you know. And it’s true. Utilizing your connections can help you get a job.
Networking and building relationships is a very important aspect in job search. Whether you are just out of college, a career changer, or advancing your career, networking can be used to your advantage.
Here are great ways and tips to utilize the people you know and the people you meet to boost your job search.
Start with Who you Know
The basics of networking start from the people you already know (i.e. friends, family, neighbors, etc.) Make sure the people you know are aware that you are looking for a job and ask if they know of anyone that’s hiring. These connections you have can help leverage your way into developing new connections and, eventually, lead you to a new job.
Develop your Pitch and Get Prepared
A key part in effective networking is fully understanding and being clear about your employment goals. Conduct a self-assessment and determine talking points about yourself and your career goals, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to practice delivering your talking points to better communicate them. Whether it is 10 seconds for an elevator pitch or 10 minutes for an interview, you want to be clear and understandable.
Organize your materials, such your resume. Organize your network on a spreadsheet or a file for business cards, so you can keep track of their key information for reaching out.
Connect with Local Groups
Technology has made this part of networking much easier! On Facebook and LinkedIn, you have the ability to connect to different groups within your community, such alumni associations, job search groups, hobbies and more. Just search for the different groups that you are already a part of to connect with fellow peers or join new ones. If you can’t find a group that you searched for, start one. That way you build connections with people in the area or in your field of work.
Expand your Network at Events and Fairs
You should also visit an event to mingle with people in your field and recruiters. Below are some tips to help.
Tips for Networking at Events and Job Fairs
- Study before the event – Before the event, research the companies that may be at the networking event, so you get an idea of who you want to network with. You don’t want to walk into the event without a plan of action.
- Make conversation – Don’t just go around and try to collect the most business cards. It’s not a race to see how many cards you receive. It’s about making conversation and finding common ground with recruiters.
- Tell Stories – Stories allow people to better understand you and your potential role within their company. Try picking 3 stories from your life: personal or work-related.
- Bring it Back to Them – People like talking about themselves, so avoid rambling too long about yourself and give your connections the opportunity to share about themselves.
- Don’t linger – Don’t give the wrong impression by talking to your connection when they are itching to move on. Make the connection, be memorable, and then wrap it up by asking for their business card.
- Take notes – Be sure to take some time out for a break and to write notes about each encounter you made.
- Write Thank You Notes – Be more memorable to hiring managers by writing thank you notes with the addresses listed on their business card. Need help writing one? Here are some tips.
Utilize Services from an Employment Agency
Yes, we can expand your network too. We’re a valuable asset that people often forget to utilize in their job search. Mainly because they don’t realize that our services are free to job seekers. It’s like networking with a hiring manager. The hiring manager will then go back to their company and think more about hiring you. However, with us, you don’t just network with a recruiter, you network with our database of clients looking to hire new employees. To get started, check out our job board to apply for a job you want or submit your resume to our database.
*Note: Networking is NOT…
Networking is not just sending a resume to a person at a company that you want to work for. You have to develop a relationship, make conversation, and connect with people to eventually have them refer you to a job. Network is not about submitting a resume and waiting for a company to call you. You will have to do some cold-calling and be proactive in your networking, rather than let it “work out for the best.” You should make phone calls, send e-mails, or even show you at the company’s door to be proactive in your job search.