Finding a job can be a difficult task, and the way of doing such has changed greatly over the years. Many of us are used to searching for position in the newspaper, online, or even using employment agencies – well , these are the ways of the past! The best way to find out about job openings is by way of networking and/or word of mouth. So, how does one begin to network? Don't fret my friends, as I have the top tips to help you network your way to employment.
Most jobs are not even posted; instead filled simply via referral. To make sure that you're contacted by the hiring manager you must make a connection. Failure to do such will ensure that you don't end up top of mind when there's a position available.
You should make a list of people (we will call this your network). The list will be anyone you know. This includes your family, friends, co-workers, teachers, classmates, neighbors, your kid's friend's parents and so on. If you really think about it, we are networking almost every day. When you're waiting for your oil change and you strike up conversation with the person next to you, that's networking.
Find industry-specific conferences to attend, support groups, church events or any social function. Remember to prepare in advance and know who will be attending the event and with who you might want to connect. I encourage everyone to come prepared and have your resume polished and ready to go. I don't suggest just handing it out at every function, unless it's a career fair or you're specifically asked. Don't expect to walk away from a function with the new gig, however the key is to make connections, which is over half the battle.
Aside from attending events, you should do some digging on Linkedin and make some valuable connections. Don't just go hog wild and start reaching out to everyone, but make sure that the connections mean something and will add true value to the job search. You may need to have one of your connections do a warm introduction on Linkedin to help guide that connection. Good luck on your networking endeavor and keep in mind that the job may not happen overnight.