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Job Hunt - how to boost your chances by building your network

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This is one of a series of fact sheets taken from my books for job hunters. …

This is one of a series of fact sheets taken from my books for job hunters.
The advice will be of use to anyone contemplating a career or job change!
Please feel free to reproduce the factsheets for educational purposes.


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  • 1. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your NetworkHow To Get That JobCareer DevelopmentFact Sheet 3 How to Boost your Chances by Building Your Network Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 1
  • 2. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your NetworkA new word has entered the English language in the past couple of decades and has become increasingly important in helpingpeople to get a job – ‘networking’ or contact development. For many people it’s something they have been doing for yearsquite naturally through personal contact or telephone calls and more recently through emails and social media. For others(particularly people of older generations) the thought of it makes them feel so uncomfortable that it makes the hairs on theback of their neck stand up.You cannot ignore networking as part of your job hunt. In addition to the traditional methods of networking, using Social andProfessional Media Websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo will significantly increase your chances of success.Networking is the proactive process of maximising the relationships you already have and developing new contacts, and usingthese contacts to help you to identify work opportunities. Why is networking important? Some people believe that as few as25 per cent of jobs are ever advertised. But someone must know about the rest! By widening your ‘net’ of contacts you’llincrease your chances of learning about these opportunities Also, career consultants will tell you that networking becomesincreasingly important as you get older. About 50 per cent of people over the age of 40 find a job through their network.Networking is not about pestering people for a job to the point that none of your friends will ever speak to you. Neither is itabout embarrassing people so that they feel morally obliged to help you, or even give you a job.Networking is about approaching people genuinely to ask for advice and ideas on how you can get your next job – you aren’tmeeting them, telephoning or writing to them for a job. This is extremely important. When you make it quite clear that whatyou want from them is advice and ideas, you’ll reduce their embarrassment about the contact and you will find them far moreforthcoming.On the practical front, just look at the power of numbers. Imagine you start off with the top 15 people in your network, youcontact these and they each give you the names of two of their contacts. That’s an extra 30 people and you now have anetwork of 45. You speak to each of the new contacts and get two more names. You now have a network of 105 people andyou contact your 60 new contacts and get two more names, now you’re up to 225 . . . hang on, let’s not get silly!Who should I contact?Many people think they have only a small Network of personal contacts until they do this exercise. Go through your addressbook, emails, diary, business card file, customer records, correspondence files, etc. and brainstorm. Write down the names of Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 2
  • 3. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your Networkpeople you know. Once completed, this list will be invaluable. At this point include anyone and everyone you can think of. Askyour partner and close friends for ideas. You have started Networking!My Network Bankers Competitors Customers Club members Consultants Doctors/dentist/solicitor Neighbours Professional contacts Suppliers University/college/school colleagues Past employers Relatives Teachers Work colleagues Friends Virtual FriendsWhat next, now I’ve got my network?You need to identify who you should contact first from your network. They will be  people you can contact relatively easily  people high in the organisation – the higher the better  people who could potentially employ you (even better)  people on the same level as you, but with a different function, who can ‘pass you on’ to a peer.  (Bear in mind that people on the same level as you with the same function may see you as a competitor. People on a lower level are rarely useful except for information gathering.)Now choose the top 15 names on your list and contact them. Decide which approach will be best. As a general principle, thefirst choice is to see them in person, second to telephone, third is write a letter and the least favoured option is to send an e-mail or text. Remember, your objective is not simply to inform people of the fact that you are looking for work, you want tomotivate them to do something to help you. The more personal your contact, the more likely it is to succeed. Of course there Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 3
  • 4. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your Networkare exceptions. If you’re working in the Netherlands and have a friend in Japan who may be able to help you to get a job inCalifornia then e-mail might work. But then again it might not! Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a technophobe and I couldn’t domy job as a consultant and author without e-mail. It’s excellent for maintaining business contacts and exchanging information,but as a starting point for network development it’s my least favourite option.Whatever you do, get to the point quickly and don’t waste their time. Achieve your three objectives:let them know you are looking for work – so that they can keep their eyes and ears openask them for the names of two of their contacts who you might approachask for their advice about opportunities/recruitment consultants/ journals/ ads they might have seen.Use the telephone for network developmentAs I mentioned earlier Emails, social media, messaging and texts have their place in Network development, but second only toa personal meeting for me is the use of the telephone. We communicate an enormous amount in the tone of our voice on topof that a telephone conversation is completely interactive! A dozen ways to build your network 1 Mentor someone or ask someone to mentor you 2 Get involved in task forces or other exercises 3 Send reports of your work to others who may be interested 4 Plan regular reviews to talk about your performance and your development with your boss 5 Do a regular report on your and your team’s exercises and send it to the people who might want to know 6 Offer to present at other people’s meetings and bring others in to talk at yours 7 Attend training courses internally and externally 8 When you dig out useful information, think about who else it might be interesting to, and forward it on 9 Attend conferences and seminars 10 Present at external events 11 Write papers and articles about your work for external publishing 12 Subscribe to networks that can contribute knowledge and information about relevant topics Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 4
  • 5. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your NetworkHow to build your network using Social Media and other sitesA couple of weeks ago my 14 year-old niece told me that she had 1,200 friends on Facebook. I’m considerably older than sheis and yet I don’t have 120 friends, let alone 1,200. As you build your network using social media and other websites doremember that the quality of your contacts is equally as important as the quantity.The internet has really opened up a phenomenal new way of interacting with other people and building networks, for mutualbenefit, whether it be for finding out how to fix a car engine, traveling to exotic places or finding a job! As I have said earlierin this chapter, without doubt my favourite way of networking with other people, is in person with phone calls as a secondbest. That said and social media cannot be ignored as a method of building your Network and taking you nearer to winning ajob. Try this networking technique to apply for a job Do you know anyone, anyone … a neighbour, a friend, a cousin, a friend of a friend who works in an organisation that you’re applying to? Save yourself the price of a stamp, and ask them if they would be kind enough to take your application into work and give it to the person who is recruiting. If someone is prepared to do this for you they are effectively giving you a referral, and your application could well end up way ahead of others You may also be doing them a big favour as some organisations offer a bonus to members of staff who introduce friends in this way as it can save them a lot of money in recruitment advertising costs. I know this technique works for a fact as I once got a bonus of £300 for introducing a friend to the company that I was working for. Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 5
  • 6. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your NetworkHow to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter and othersLinkedIn www.LinkedIn.comAs a starting point LinkedIn is a site that allows you to connect to people you know, but it is much more than that. It alsoallows you to see profiles of other people on LinkedIn, and enables you to connect to them. You can use LinkedIn in your jobhunt and networking in a number of ways:  Company Search – Making connections through connections. If you identify a company that you are interested in applying to, you can search on that company, and hopefully find people who are connected to people in your network. You can then ask your contact to connect you.  Employers post jobs on the site. The jobs are usually high quality, professional jobs.  Communicate with contacts – You can let everyone in your Linked in network know that you are looking for a job through one single message and as your circumstance change you can use the same process to update people.  Slideshare – LinkedIn can connect directly to tour Slideshare CV ( see chapter 4 for more ideas on how to do this)  Blog & Twitter – Your LinkedIn profile can connect directly to your blog and your twitter conversations.Twitter www.twitter.comTwitter is very different from LinkedIn as it allows you to connect with people who you dont know, based on commoninterests. Because of this you can quickly make new connections and build your network. In addition, you’ll see jobsadvertised on twitter that are not advertised anywhere else. If you were an employer, which would you rather do? Place afree posting on Twitter or pay thousands for a newspaper ad.? You can search Twitter using Twellow; Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 6
  • 7. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your Networkhttp://www.twellow.com Just enter a company name or a person’s name and Twellow will search the twitter database ofmillions of members – and growing!Facebook www.facebook.comFacebook is primarily a social media site for connecting with friends or people you’ve known in the past and because of this itcan it can also be an effective networking tool, for re-establishing contact with previous colleague etc. You can post notes andstatus updates on Facebook, either to keep your friends up to date with what’s happening in your job hunt or to ask for helpor advice.In addition to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of networking and blogging andspecial interest sites which you can use to build your network and advance your job hunt, these includewww.Friendsreunited.com and www.plaxo.com. Six of the Best Social Media Networking Sites 1. LinkedIn An absolute MUST site for networking for professionals and others. Good for finding ‘friends of friends’ who work in organisations that you’d like to work for www.LinkedIn.com 2. Twitter Great for building your network with people you don’t know, but have a common interest with. www.twitter.com 3. Twellow A powerful search tool that searches Twitter to find people and organisations. http://www.twellow.com 4. Facebook Great for connecting with friends or people you’ve known in the past. www.facebook.com 5. Plaxo Automatically updates your electronic address book and synchronises with your devices and apps. www.plaxo.com. 6. FriendsReunited Another site which is great for re-connecting with people you have in the past www.Friendsreunited.comIf you haven’t signed up to these sites have a look at them and see what they can offer. Tread gently and only postinformation which you would feel comfortable if it was seen by a prospective employer. Too many teens & twenties (andolder!) have posted ‘amusing’ messages and images on Facebook and Twitter only to find that they have come back to bitethem years later, when they have ‘grown up’. It won’t surprise you to learn that some employers Google candidates’ names Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 7
  • 8. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your Networkto see what else they can find out about them in addition to what they have put in their application. Some HR professionalsabhor this practice and say that it’s the technological equivalent of rifling through someone’s underwear drawer, whilst othersthink it’s fair game. As I said earlier, tread carefully; it’s almost impossible to put a champagne cork back into the bottle. It’soften just as difficult, if not impossible to take postings off the net once they are there.A few words from the authorMy Books  These tips are from my books for career planners and job hunters. I wrote the first book in 1993, since then thousands of people have used the tips to plan their lives and get new jobs My latest book is: How To Get That Job – The Complete Guide to Getting Hired Book Description (from Amazon) Publication Date: 15 Nov 2012 | ISBN-10: 0273772120 | ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 | Edition: 4 The ultimate all-in-one guide to job hunting success. Getting an edge in the hunt for work is vital and this book offers the edge that millions are missing. This no-nonsense, highly practical and outcome focussed guide to the whole process of job hunting takes you right from the planning stages through writing your CV, flying through aptitude tests, being interviewed on the phone and online, to what to do and say when you finally get the offer you’ve been Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 8
  • 9. How To Get That Job: Career Development Fact Sheet 3How to Boost Your Chances by Building Your Network hoping for. With essential guidance on maximising modern job-hunting tools such as social media and networking websites, as well as special help for those who are new to work, the recently redundant, the long-term unemployed, ex-offenders and graduates, it’s one of the most up to date and all-encompassing job hunting books on the market today.  There’s more good advice in my other slideshows and at my website, visit www.hornby.orgWant to use my material?I’m flattered and am happy for you to use my slides and factsheets at work, at your job club, at school, college oruniversity or in your job hunt, etc provided it’s ‘not for profit’. If you want to use my material in a commercialsituation please get in touch as I’m happy to write for websites journals, newspapers etc. Written by Malcolm Hornby Chartered FCIPD FCMI MIfL career coach and author of How To Get That Job - The complete Guide to Getting Hired Published Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0273772125 © Pearson Education © Malcolm Hornby www.hornby.org Page 9