Are you like a job-seeking friend of mine who doesn’t want to network because he’d rather land a job all by himself? That mindset can really hurt your job search success because networking plays a
Are you like a job-seeking friend of mine who doesn’t want to network because he’d rather land a job all by himself?
That mindset can really hurt your job search success because networking plays a major role in up to 75% of all hires. Many job openings are never posted on general job search web sites or featured in a newspaper classified ad, but are instead spread by word of mouth. If you aren’t communicating regularly about your job search with a wide variety of people, you won’t hear about these jobs.
Even if networking doesn’t come naturally to you, you can take simple steps to expand your network. Here’s how:
- Email everyone you know and ask them to send you leads for the types of jobs you are seeking. Send them upbeat reminders every couple of weeks to remind them to keep looking out for you. For example, you could write something like, “As you may recall, I am seeking a civil engineering position in Austin or San Antonio, Texas. I’d appreciate any leads you can send my way.”
- Send invitations to connect with friends and business acquaintances on LinkedIn.com (with a quick note about your need for job leads), and then invite mutual friends on their contact lists to connect. Make sure your “Share an update” box on your LinkedIn profile (the white box next to your picture on your home page) indicates that you are seeking job leads. For example, say something like, “Seeking corporate communications positions in St. Louis, Mo. Please send leads!”
- Reach out to unemployed friends. Send each other job leads and encouraging messages. Meet for coffee to learn how you can connect with each other’s contacts.
- Participate in free and low cost networking events in your region. You can find out about these events from your local library and by joining local LinkedIn groups (just type your city name in LinkedIn’s “Search groups” box). Here is an article I wrote on how you can make participating in such events as effective and painless as possible.
- Volunteer, particularly for groups or associations involved in your area of business.
- For more networking ideas, visit the Quintessential Careers web site.
Step out of your comfort zone and network … after all, it could help you … Get a Job!