This series of articles will focus on job networking and how you can actually find a job just by building a network!
Finding a job these days can be quite hard, but there are still some great opportunities out there IF you know where to look! Some of the best ways to find work and job leads are not just by using the classifieds, online job boards and via job agencies but by asking those around you! The network of friends, relatives, acquaintances and colleagues is one of the best and most valuable job search sources you have.
While networking may sound very intimidating or hard – especially when it comes to asking for help – it doesn’t have to be! Networking can be very rewarding and a lot of fun – even if you think you don’t know many people or you are a shy person – and the best thing is – it can be a LOT easier than you think!
So, what actually IS networking??? A lot of job openings never actually get advertised, but are filled just by *word of mouth*, and this is why networking can be a great way to get a job! Sadly a lot of job seekers don’t take advantage of this as they are afraid or worried about coming across as annoying or pushy. The thing is networking isn’t about promoting yourself or using people – it’s simply about building relationships.
You probably already know how to network and don’t even realise it. Networking is nothing more than getting to know people – just as you would at a party. Do you realise that every day whether you know it or not, you are actually networking. When you strike up that conversation with the person next to you in line, or introduce yourself to your child’s teacher, you meet a friend of a friend in the street, chat with your neighbours or catch up with a former co-worker. Everyone you meet can help you with your job search.
While tapping into the *hidden job network* that is networking, may take a little more planning and research than looking for jobs online, it can be far more effective. If you can adopt your own networking lifestyle of helping others connect in both good and bad times it can help you find the right job. You can make good connections within your chosen field and that can help you stay both focused and motivated while you continue to search.
Networking can be an excellent way to find a job – why??? Because
#1 – People will often employ people they know and like, or those that have been personally recommended. While a great resume and cover letter is an asset they can often be a little too *impersonal* to convince someone to hire you
#2 – when a position is advertised it often draws a big response and your resume and letter are now sitting under a big pile of other CV’s and letters, so you have the same chance as everyone on that pile. Networking can make your name stand out, you are now in a much smaller pile of *recommended* candidates.
#3 – often that job, career or position you have been searching for never gets advertised at all. Networking can bring you the information you need to pick up the job lead long before a formal position is announced, putting you right on the ground floor and ready to pounce.
Do you have any networking advice to share? Has it been of any help to you? Can finding a job come down to the *who* you know rather than* what* you know?