For most job seekers, networking is the FASTEST way to get a job.
When applying for jobs, effective networking enables you to “jump the queue” and secure interviews swiftly.
Additionally, interviews are frequently more straightforward! They will trust you more if you are introduced to a company through your network, giving you an advantage when you go in for the interview. Therefore, if a mutual acquaintance recommended you, you won’t even need to have the best interview responses to land the job.
You’ll discover all the advantages of networking for job seekers in this article, along with 8 networking strategies to get you started.
Let’s begin by discussing the benefits of networking for job seekers.
Benefits of Networking for Job Seekers
Did you know that if you were referred to a company by someone they knew, they would be far more likely to trust you and hire you? Other advantages of networking and being introduced to business include:
- Access to the “secret” employment market, which contains unlisted and unadvertised positions
- Access to upcoming positions that hadn’t been publicly announced yet (therefore there won’t be any competition)
- A speedier interview process and preference over other applicants (for example you might skip the initial conversation with HR if somebody recommends you to the hiring manager)
- Greater room for error during the interview. When a recruiting manager calls you after hearing about you from a friend, they are already favorable toward you. Therefore, even if your responses to their phone interview questions aren’t ideal, you still might be selected for the following stage.
Is it intimidating to network while looking for a job? Certainly for the majority of folks. But can it be done? Absolutely. The top three networking strategies for job searching are listed below.
Job Search Networking Tips/Steps:
1. Identify who you want to connect with
Making a list of people you can call and ask for support from is the first step.
Consider who you know as you begin to compile your list. Consider your friends, family, old employers, coworkers, and neighbors. You can also include people who you occasionally have discussions with but wouldn’t consider friends—what I’d term conversational acquaintances.
The key is as follows: You’ll undoubtedly have a tiny voice in your head telling you “that individual won’t want to help me” as you’re writing or typing out this list. Or, “I best not include her; I haven’t spoken to her in two years.”
Leave all of that out. For five minutes without fretting, jot down everything that comes to mind. You can edit the list later, but starting with everything you can think of will make it much better.
Once you’ve completed that, you’re prepared to go on.
Using LinkedIn’s search capabilities to find relevant people will help you expand your list. Find hiring managers, recruiters, and certain businesses that are worth pursuing.
To add to your list of prospective new connections, make a list of them. Consider this procedure, like we did above, as a brainstorming session rather than a definitive list that must be strictly adhered to. Having too many names is preferable to not having enough.
2. Connect with people and start conversations
It’s time to start sending out communications now that you have a list of potential allies.
Think about contacting them by phone or email once you get to know them. Make sure you specify the position you are leaving and the kind of position you are seeking. It’s acceptable to request names, introductions, and any wisecracks. The idea is to put yourself out there because if others don’t know you’re asking for help, they can’t help you.
You can get in touch with someone you don’t know (or barely know) via Mail, LinkedIn’s InMail, or by doing some research to find out their business email address.
This is how:
Visit a company website, press releases, or contact information to examine how the email addresses of the company are displayed (e.g., BradPitt@MovieStar.com OR BPitt@MovieStar.com).
To see what comes up, open a search engine and type @NameofCompany.com. Frequently, you may find out the names of employees who can help you determine the email address of the person you want to target.
Here is an example of a message you could send to strike up a discussion with a stranger:
Hi <Name> ,
I saw your profile on LinkedIn today while doing some research. I see you came over to Sony two years ago, how have you found the work environment so far as a software engineer? I’m in the middle of a job search myself and I’m weighing a few different options. I’ve always found it helpful to hear about the work environment from somebody within a company, rather than reading reviews online. Any info you can share would be a big help. Thanks!
Here, you’re carrying out a number of tasks. Naturally, you’re initiating a dialogue and asking for a certain response, but you’re also being rather informal. You cannot request a significant favor before speaking with the person in question. I suggest starting the topic in this manner.
Ask them another inquiry or make a comment in response to their answer. Soon enough, you’ll feel secure enough to inquire about job openings or ask if they can put you in touch with a manager.
3. Reciprocate (and show gratitude)
Don’t overlook this final action. It’s crucial for a successful job search to network.
Be sure to thank everyone who offered assistance once your job hunt is done, whether it was via email or a handwritten message (if you have their address). In this manner, they will be prepared to assist once more in the future, making your subsequent job hunt even simpler!
You may also pay it forward by following up to see how they’re doing, sharing an interesting article with them, and offering to do the same for them in the future if they’re looking for work.
4. Be professional and never badmouth
Even though you could have had a bad boss, gone through a firm closure, or been fired, now is not the time to talk about it. Don’t speak poorly of your former employer or boss. Even if it’s accurate, you come out as an unhappy worker who is the source of the problem. Instead, say that while working for ABC Company was enjoyable, the time had come to move on and accept a new challenge. This is crucial when speaking to someone face-to-face since they can read your body language and gauge your mood. The future should be prioritized over the past.
And since you should perform the same action at your interview, this will serve as excellent preparation. Being negative won’t get you a job. Ever.
5. Do something you wouldn’t normally do
Have you never gone to a local chamber of commerce event held after hours? Can you join a local networking group as a guest or stand in? You should DO IT if you can and the prospect of it even slightly makes you uncomfortable. You need to seize every opportunity you may obtain if you want to stand out from the crowd and have an impact on businesses. Also, be sure to prepare your elevator pitch before attending these kinds of gatherings.
6. Get your 30-second or 60-second pitch ready
What is the first question you are frequently asked at a networking event? What do you do? was the response. So, how do you respond to this if you’re unemployed or looking for a new job? Say something along the lines of, “I have X, Y, and Z skills, and I’m prepared to make a difference in my next employment. I am thrilled to see my future career orientation and am looking forward to engaging with others in the sector because of my experience with A, B, and C.
Many of my clients have anxiety when considering presenting an “elevator pitch.” I advise them to keep in mind two or three abilities and two or three successes or experiences that make them stand out from other job applicants. If they can recall this, the scenario will be less stressful and they won’t need to memorize their pitch.
If you need more guidance, check out this comprehensive essay on how to write an effective elevator pitch step-by-step.
7. Leave them with something
Create a business card that can serve as a contact card if you are not already employed. You may do this while maintaining your professionalism and leaving contacts with your phone number and email address. By leaving something behind, you make yourself distinctive and give people a method to get in touch with you later. In relation to follow-up…
8. Don’t be afraid to follow up when networking, and in your job search overall
Also, keep in mind to be patient throughout this procedure. Your network is likely to get busy, forget to follow up, respond, etc. Every three to four weeks, set a reminder for yourself to check in with each person. This is your chance to update them on the status of your employment search and to reaffirm your request for their assistance.
In fact, if a few weeks have gone by and you haven’t heard from anyone, don’t be hesitant to follow up. This is sound advice for anyone looking for a job.
It makes no difference if you use it for networking, sending a follow-up email after an interview to receive feedback, or anything else.
Consider how much labor is involved in setting up a networking meeting or getting an interview. Consider how quickly you can follow up to let them know you’re still waiting to hear from them. Without a doubt, it’s worthwhile!
Follow These Job Search Networking Tips to Get Hired Faster
You will have all the resources you need for a fruitful job hunt once you have a top-notch, achievement-rich resume and a LinkedIn profile tailored for today’s internet readers (skimmers).
You might get invited to an interview even if just one person in your network knows about a position or business you were unaware of. If you do well in your interview, you might be one or two steps away from receiving a job offer.
These networking job search advice could mean the difference between finding work and having to keep looking!
But if you stay silent, nobody can assist you. Now is the time to try it; the first step is simple. Start making a list and give yourself five minutes. You can share your job hunt with anybody you know.