Networking : An Important Part of your Job Search Networking is known as the #1 way to get a new job, because most available jobs go unadvertised .
N etworking - What it is:
Networking is about reaching out to and informing the people around you of your availability for job opportunities.
What Networking Is NOT:
Networking is not about having people hand you a job, it is about collecting information and letting others know you are looking for that job opportunity.
A lot of employers would much rather talk to someone who is recommended because it saves time and money.
Receiving a strong referral from someone they trust saves the employers a lot of effort in advertising the position and sorting through resumes .
How to Network Successfully
Point #1: Getting Over the Fear First practice with people
you know well, who may
have information or leads
that can assist you in your
These people can be:
former school instructors or mentors
your sports coach, or
someone from church or a community group.
This process isn't about "selling" yourself. It is about knowing what your strengths are and having the confidence to modestly express your strengths and
others around you.
Then, when you are somewhat comfortable with the networking process, move onto cold calling those connections that may be able to better help you gather information on your chosen industry and get that desirable job.
Volunteer in an industry you are interested in or join a local organization. This is a great way to get out in the community and meet people that can be an integral part of your networking process.
Point # 2
Point #2 : Be organized / Have the right tools
A dependable and professional voice mail message on a phone where you can be reached at all times.
A professional email address that you access at least every 24 hours. (ie. FirstNameLastName@yahoo.com)
A planner specifically to record the networking contacts you have made or plan to make.
Take a good look at your address book and email contacts. Make a list of people to call such as your friends, family, colleagues, former supervisors, and social contacts. Every one is an important contact in your networking circle.
As you reach out to your existing contacts you should be gaining leads of new contacts to follow-up on. Keep organized, and write these leads down in your networking address book.
Point # 3
Point #3 : Making the First Call Recognize that time is of the essence. Develop a short message about your career experience and professional opportunities you may be interested in. "Use empowering words such as successful, accomplished, driven, implemented, skilled, experienced, leader and team-oriented." (Source: smithjames.com)
Things to Remember:
The purpose of this phone call is to use your short message to introduce yourself in a professional manner and to announce your availability in the job market.
Remember to smile (he/she will be able to hear the smile), be polite and friendly.
If this is a cold call, explain how you got their name and why you are calling.
If he/she is busy, try to schedule another time to call.
If you find that he/she is resistant to your call, maintain your friendly demeanor and thank the contact for his/her time.
If the contact is open to talking to you, thank them again and deliver your short message about your background and interests.
If you receive a positive response and he/she tells you about an opening, offer to send a resume
End the call by sincerely thanking him/her for his/her time and make reference to the person who suggested that you call.
Record the information from your call in your planner. Contact all referrals gained from this call. Be sure to leave clear personal or voice mail messages.
Point # 4
Point #4 : Follow Up on Calls Always follow-up on your contacts with a nice letter thanking him/her. For a sample letter visit "What Are Your Next Steps" at Smith James Group, Inc.
Talk to family, friends, former co-workers, bosses, and your neighbors
Talk to the other parents at your child's sports or music events
Talk to the sales people visiting your office
Visit with other members of your social clubs or religious groups
Attend professional or trade association meetings
Strike up a conversation with someone else in a waiting room (ie. doctors office, DMV, etc.)
Use online resources: career-related web forums and online discussion groups (ie. jobster.com)