Kinsa CareerEdge is a complementary career resource tool we offer to job seekers. The following article, How to Network Your Way to Your Next Job, is from the Kinsa CareerEdge library.
Often the phrase of “networking” can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re talking about using it to find a new job. Let me assure you: It doesn’t have to be so scary! Conservative estimates have shown that nearly 60% of ALL jobs get filled via networking. Yes, a whopping 60%! Never underestimate the power of a recommendation or endorsement from a third party in your job search! Given that it’s such an impressive number and the majority of open jobs are filled via networking, let’s look at the top 3 things you can do today using networking to find a new job, even if you’re completely shy!
Think about every client, vendor, associate and even friends and family and write it down.
After making this list, pick up the phone and call them. Get back in touch and let them know about your current situation and you’re looking for work! If this is scary for you, use the indirect approach and simply ask for their advice. Find out if they know people in your field, get more names, contact information, etc. and continue to branch out from there.
Remember to ALWAYS add value when networking, and never to look to just “take” something from someone but rather have something of value to give in return as well. It could be anything valuable- such as a nice website you’ve found, a good contact you may think that’s valuable or a specific product/service that you’ve found to work really well. Once you’ve made a few phone calls, you’ll realize that it gets much easier over time and after a few hours you’ll feel like an old pro, so just get started with it.
NOTE: Email is also a perfectly acceptable (albeit not as successful) way to network with others.
2. Attend formal networking events and/or business socials.
Business socials or association meetings are typically plentiful in number and always offer good networking opportunities. Many people attending actually have similar goals to you, and you’ll take comfort in that fact knowing you’re not “alone”.
If you’re shy, consider working at the registration table (volunteer to do so) or invite some friends/colleagues to go with you as you’ll feel better when you’re with others you’re comfortable with. Check out one of our previously published blogs, Networking Your Way to a New Job – How to Network Your Way up the Ladder Like a Pro!, for even more tips.
Rather than carrying around your resume at these meetings, it’s suggested you carry a “resume card” with you which we’ve found to be highly successful and very appropriate to carry with you at ALL times, especially at networking meetings.
A resume card is essentially a business card sized “resume” that has all of the pertinent information about you and your abilities on the card.
3. Contact career services at your former school.
You’d be surprised at how many people working at the school are willing to help you in your job search! Usually these organizations give you a nice opportunity to not only find open jobs but also networking opportunities with the very people working there! It’s recommended you get to know them well as they are constantly made aware of new openings in your city and field of expertise.
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