Studies have shown that 80% of jobs are found through networking while 20% are found through advertising. Because of networking, jobs are found through people you know, referrals, informational interviews, and direct calling of employers.
Networking is a powerful tool that can help you in all aspects of your career. You should try to continuously network regardless of your employment situation.
One of the easiest ways to get job leads is to contact people you know. Your friends, relatives, and business acquaintances are all people who can help you.
When contacting these people, make sure to clearly define the type of position you want. Without a clear description, it will be more difficult for them to help you.
Your contacts may work for companies that interest you and you may want to talk with these people first. Do some research on these company Websites to find out if any jobs are posted.
Even though jobs may be advertised on a company’s Website, you will be getting a referral from someone within the organization. This will carry more weight than someone blindly applying for a position.
When talking with your contacts, you also want to ask them for referrals to other people they know outside their organization. When approaching these individuals, tell them you would like to brainstorm with them about your career and get advice.
Another important way to get job leads is to attend networking events. At these events, one of your goals should be to meet a few individuals with whom you can start to build a relationship.
When meeting people for the first time, it may not be effective to ask them for referrals or job leads right away. These individuals want to get to know you and feel comfortable with you before they will open up their Rolodex.
Be patient with these individuals because you also need to get to know them. You want to make sure these new contacts are worth adding to your network.
One good strategy is to offer to help these individuals first before you ask them for referrals or job leads. If they do need help with something, make sure to follow through.
You want to form a good impression and show your new contacts that you are serious and value the relationship. Otherwise, they will probably not help you when you ask them.
When deciding which events to attend, do some initial research so you can maximize your time efficiently. You want to make sure you are attending events that will give you the best chance to meet the right individuals.
In addition, contact the event organizer to ask who will be attending. No one will know better about the attendees than the person who organizes the events.
Remember to take networking serious during the job hunt because it can uncover opportunities that you would never find on your own.