Networking to get a job should never feel like stressful, hard work. Yes, you can spend all day on the top websites to find jobs and feel like you have accomplished something. But networking to get a job takes a lot more than just applying online.
We offer these easy job networking tips below to help you.
1. Attend Meetups with people in your industry
Even with all the tools to stay connected these days, one of the most powerful job networking tips is still meeting people in your industry face to face. The website Meetup.com has been around for more than 15 years because face to face networking simply works.
All you have to do to start networking to get a job is “go where your people go to talk business”. For example, if you are an engineer, you would love to go to NY’s Tech Meetup. Founded in 2004, it has had more than 56,000 attendees, from startups to VC’s and more.
2. Start sharing what you know best
What makes the Internet so great is that the act of reaching out to share knowledge is a great way for people to discover what you know. If you are diligent about it, you may unwittingly become a thought leader in your industry. The act of helping others by sharing your knowledge is a great way to “pay it forward”. What makes this a powerful job networking tip is that companies and people are seeing your generous and intelligent side while also seeing your written communication skills.
3. Reach out to complete strangers online in your industry
Instead of hanging around on the top websites to find a job, why not reach out to people on LinkedIn who are discussing topics you care about. These days, we pretty much have accepted that people will contact us when they have something in common or need something (like a job). Networking to get a job requires not being shy about what you want or need. If you can reach out to complete strangers in your industry and help them, by all means, do it. A general job networking tip required here is, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help”.
4. Start connecting with more co-workers
You work with them every day, so take the time to begin networking. Find out what they know, what interests them, and who they know. You and your co-workers are in the same company for a reason. Find out more from your co-workers about their network and how they all think. Perhaps, you have things in common you can do after work.
This is a job networking tip that has been around for decades. For example, inviting co-workers to play golf with you on a Saturday (circa 1980’s and 1990’s). In the 21st century, you can connect and network with more co-workers with technology that makes it much more affordable. Try working with them on projects or hobbies outside of work.
5. Connect with former co-workers
One of the biggest reasons you should never burn bridges at a job is because your former co-workers will always be part of your network. In today’s global workforce, the top websites to find jobs offer positions to be applied for around the world. While networking to get a job see if you can come across a position your former co-workers know something about. Just recently, a former co-worker reached out to me from South America. He was interviewing for a job in the United States and wanted more info about living in Texas. I was able to help him both as a reference and for relocation advice.
6. Take business courses and join groups
Last year, I was hanging out on the so-called top websites to find jobs. Then, I realized one day I was spending time in two Facebook groups where people discussed two industries I wanted to be a part of. One was for community managers and the other was for a business course on “gamification”. In the processes of networking to get a job, I stayed in touch with these groups and the people in them. I was a regular contributor and took a business course offered in one group.
Then, one day people started posting job notices in the Facebook groups. I had success landing interviews and meeting possible future co-workers. They were more willing to consider me because I took an interest in what they were needing and doing. There is no reason you cannot do the same. The moral of this job networking tip is to remember: Today’s business world of networking to get a job, as it was in the past, is all “give and give...and then take”.
7. Stay in touch
Popping your head into an online group or Meetup is a start. But it takes more than making an appearance to truly consider it networking to find a job. Stay in touch with all of the people you are meeting. Networking to get a job is a hustle and you need to do it to gain traction.
8. Reply to everyone who contacts you
If you feel you have no time to reply to everyone, expect them to show you the same courtesy. Sure, once you gain traction, this job networking tip becomes more difficult. Just remember this simple universal truth: “Busy at work is better than not busy at no work.” Reply to your network simply because you want them to do that for you and opportunities will arise!