If you’re looking for a way to improve the results of your job hunt, you’re probably aware that networking can be one of the best solutions for you.
The best jobs never get advertised, only offered to people that someone in the company already knows.
So let’s discuss how you can improve your chances that, next time, you will be the person that they will remember when a great opportunity comes up for their company.
The 5 Steps to Networking Effectively in Your Job Hunt
1. Tell Everyone That You Are Looking For a Job
The basic thing to do, and that many people fail to accomplish, is to let people know that they are looking for a job. Simple as that. The truth is, many of us feel embarrassed about mentioning our unemployment as if we did something wrong.
But what you’re actually doing wrong here is keeping it from other people. Everybody has been unemployed at one time or another, including your friends, family, and relatives. So go ahead and spread the word. Otherwise, how will they know to mention your name if they hear about something?
2. Ask For Recommendations and Reference Letters
One thing that can greatly increase your chances of getting the job of your dreams is asking for recommendations and reference letters. They can go on your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and on your online CV. The opportunities to use them are endless.
Of course, not all references are the same, and if you happen to get one from a guru of your industry, it will add more points than a recommendation from an ex-colleague. Still, what matters here is that you do your best to collect as many recommendations as you can.
Someone else saying that you are a great professional has much more power than just you saying it.
3. Directly Contact Key People
Just to be clear here, it is important that you directly contact the key people on your network list. Don’t just drop them a message on WhatsApp or Facebook. Whenever possible, book lunch, dinner, or a couple of drinks with them. Explain to them what you are looking for and ask for advice.
Make yourself heard during brainstorming conversations to increase your chances of being remembered when something comes up. It will also keep you updated on the trends in hiring. Plus, it will help other people make connections and identify an opportunity for you that would go unnoticed otherwise.
[RELATED: How to Double Your Network in 4 Weeks]
4. …But Also Be Discreet and Selective
In a scenario where you are still working, some people should be out of your networking list. You definitely should not contact anyone in your current employment or ask them for a recommendation or advice of any kind.
It is impolite and unprofessional to do so, and it can backfire. You might lose your job much earlier than you wished, along with a reference letter that won’t do you much good in the future. So be selective and discreet here.
5. Make the Most of Social Media
Nowadays, phone contacts are in the past when it comes to networking. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other social media networks can help you more than you can imagine in terms of keeping in touch with people that can help you get a new job.
But, in this matter, LinkedIn is the site you should probably be exploring the most. This is designed specifically for professional contacts, so you can be upfront about your intentions there.
Take a look at your connections and check for valuable second connections that you can ask someone to introduce you to. Be proactive and participate in groups of your industry as well – you never know where a job post will be.
The Bottom Line
Networking is the secret weapon of people who always have a job. They just leave the job and let people know that they are available – and a great opportunity comes up sooner or later.
Of course, no networking will save you if you aren’t good at your job or if your resume is badly written. But if everything else rocks, it’s high time for you to stop being shy and make the most of your contacts from now on.
- The 5 Steps to Networking Effectively in Your Job Hunt - January 12, 2017