How to find a job by building relationships.
In this series we’ll look at how networking can help you get a job. Finding a job in these tough economic times can be hard, but, there are plenty of opportunities out there if you know where to look. While you can try job agencies, the local paper or online sites the best way is to talk! It’s your network of friends, neighbours, family and acquaintances AND the people THEY know that is a little used job resource. Networking can be fun and rewarding even if you are shy or just feel you don’t know many people, you probably know more people than you think you do!
So what actually IS networking? Did you know that many jobs are never actually advertised and employers fill these rolls by asking staff members for recommendations? This is why networking is a great way to find a job. Sadly many people never take advantage of this feeling that they don’t want to seem pushy or annoying. Networking isn’t about using people or being aggressive and pushy it is about building relationships.
You already know HOW to network – while it’s a *fancy* name – networking is just about getting to know people, and you know what – you do it all the time! You’re actually networking when you introduce yourself to parents at your Childs school; catch up with a past co-worker or even stopping to chat to your neighbour. Everyone you meet can help you with your job search!
Tapping into that hidden job market will take a lot more planning than looking up sites on the Internet – but it will prove to be far more effective. Trying to adopt a more network friendly lifestyle will help you find the right job, you’ll probably make a lot of connections and it will help you stay focused on achieving your goals.
So, why is networking the best way to find a job?
- People will often deal with those they know and like. Resumes and cover letters are often just not personal enough to convince someone to hire you
- Advertised jobs just bring so many applicants that you may be left on the bottom of the pile
- The job you are actually looking for may not be advertised at all, so networking gets you in on the ground floor creating job leads for you often before a position is formally advertised.
TIP #1 – You actually KNOW more people than you think you do! While you are sitting there reading this, you’re probably thinking *I don’t know that many people* or *I don’t know anyone who can help me* – but there is a very good chance that at least a few people you do know can either give you some career advice or point you towards a job opening. You will never know unless you ask!
Make a list of all the people in your networks – your network is bigger than you think and it includes family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, past co-workers, club members, parents of your children and even casual acquaintances. Get out your pen and paper and start writing those names down – you will be surprised how quickly that list grows.
Think about the people YOU know from past jobs, school, University, church, the gym, your child’s school and your neighbourhood, friends of your brother sister, mum, dad, friends of your friends and don’t forget to include people like your Doctor, Dentist, Vet – the list is endless.
You DO have job network and it is bigger and more powerful than you think. If you are nervous about making contact with people – don’t be. Remember that people will gladly help out if they can, people like to be asked for advice and they might consider it an honour that you have come to them for help. Everyone knows what it’s like to be out of work and will sympathise with you and by connecting with others you’ll gain support and encouragement.
How has networking helped you? Have you ever tried it before?