Job Search Networking 101

Job Search Networking 101

You’ve probably heard that job search networking is responsible for over 80% of all hires in the United States.

That means, even with a perfect resume, applying for jobs online is not likely to do the trick.

Job search networking is a highly effective solution. While this is rarely disputed, many job seekers still fail to take this approach seriously.

Reasons people fail to network 

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to network for a job. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the three most common reasons:

  • You don’t know where to start
  • You feel embarrassed/prideful
  • You don’t have an extensive network

How to begin networking for a job

If you have bought into the idea that networking is the most effective way to secure a new job, you are on the right track. The attitude you have while networking for a job is also very important. Networking to find a job can be done in a variety of ways.

  • Get in touch with old colleagues or managers
  • Utilize the world’s largest networking site (LinkedIn)
  • Attend local networking events
  • Reach out to family or friends

All of the above options are proven networking strategies that have provided significant results for millions of job seekers. Utilizing your network for a job will prove to be quicker, less expensive, and more efficient than anything else.  

Now, there is no guarantee that your network will be able to help. But, with the odds in your favor (80% of jobs are filled through networking) it makes sense to start with the above strategies, before spending any time on job boards.

Don’t feel embarrassed and prideful 

Just the other day, I had a call with a potential client of mine. Let’s call him, Bill. Bill mentioned that he was looking for a job and that his ideal company would be in the automotive space.

He then went on to mention that his former manager had moved on to run a very successful automotive company. This manager had seen Bill’s work ethic and had always appreciated him as an employee. I wish I could tell you that Bill utilized job search networking by contacting his former manager and receiving an offer. But, he didn’t. Bill was too embarrassed and his pride got in the way.

Bill continued to search for a job for almost nine months before receiving another offer. To think, Bill could have saved nine months of tiresome, stressful, and time-intensive work if he would have used networking to find a job.

Top places to network for jobs 

So, maybe you just don’t have a large enough network to find a job. No worries! While it’s always ideal to have an existing network, there are a plethora of networking tools at your fingertips if you don’t.

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn has grown to become the world’s largest professional networking site with over 500,000,000 members across the globe. Job search networking on LinkedIn has become so easy, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home.

Local networking events

If you prefer to get out of the house and meet people, then ask around or check online for local networking events. If you live in an even slightly populated city, chances are there are a variety of networking groups that you can join. Best of all, the majority of these networking groups are free or cost very little to join.

Job fairs

Job fairs are an excellent way to network with potential future employers. Instead of submitting your resume to a black hole online, attend job fairs to receive quality face time. Meeting someone in person is much more likely to leave a lasting impression than meeting virtually. Make sure to bring a few copies of your resume, dress to impress, and figure out how to stand out from the competition.

10 Tips to Utilize Your Job Search Network 

  1. Don’t be embarrassed.
  2. Don’t be shy.
  3. Don’t be prideful.
  4. Don’t limit yourself to just close friends.
  5. Understand it’s ok to ask occasional favors.
  6. Put in the work. Nobody is dying to help you if you don’t ask.
  7. Use LinkedIn to contact former colleagues or managers.
  8. Stay positive/optimistic.
  9. Don’t burn bridges; you never know who can help someday.
  10. Remain active. Don’t send two messages and quit.

It’s not a lack of networking options that keeps someone from utilizing their network. Sometimes, the biggest hindrance to your job search is getting out of your head. The longer you wait to utilize your network when applying to jobs, the more time you are wasting on statistically ineffective strategies. Work smarter, not harder.  

Always remember to utilize your network for a job before anything else.

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