Good old networking – everybody is doing it – from Managing Directors to Jobseekers. If I could have a pound for every networking event I have either been to or been invited to, I’d have….well, certainly enough for a good curry and a night at the Cinema, but just what is networking and why should we be doing it if we are looking for work?
Simply put – it is interacting with a support system in order to achieve mutual goals. Your goal is to get a job, but you may be able to help others with their goals…in the case of recruiters – their goal is to fill jobs and obtain details of outstanding candidates for the near future…namely…you!
Like any kind of marketing, there are cold contacts and warm contacts.
These are the best…the friendliest, and quite honestly, the easiest – you know these people, they know you, so it should be pretty easy to get in touch and see what they know. But where are they?
- Friends and family – Oh yes! When you are looking for work, this is your first port-of-call, these are the people who, not only may be ABLE to help, but will certainly WANT to help, get the family jungle drums going, who knows what will turn up.
- Former Colleagues – If you are looking in the same industry as you have previously worked, then this would be just as important. Clearly, these first two groups may overlap somewhat, but what about those former colleagues who have moved away? One word for you….LinkedIn! A perfect way to contact former friends and colleagues…need help with this? Email me, I will send you a free guide.
- Facebook or Twitter is the other arena you need to explore seriously – or whichever your preferred Social Media tipple is, this will contain all of the above along with everything else besides.
OK, this is a bit of a scarier prospect…but hold it!! Before you retreat back into your tortoise shell, bear in mind that the figures show high percentages of jobs are snaffled up by savvy networkers. (I’m not going to quote vague statistics to you but I have researched anywhere between 50% and 80% is accurate – depending on your chosen industry.)
- Job and Career Fairs – you will find everyone under one roof here, people looking for candidates and people looking for tables to get their feet under. A word to the wise…if you go to one, treat it as an interview – preened, prompt and prepared. Let me know if you want a free interview guide.
- The Hidden Job Market! This is not MI5, this is the new name for Speculative Job Hunting…the cold approach. Scary? Oh yes…but guess what? I have a guide…
The last thing you want is to get the reputation of a pest. Networking is not just about what you can gain from the contact, but also what you can give. In fact, it is better to offer your services before asking anything in return – you may even find a person much more helpful once you have at least offered your help.
Of course there are many other avenues of networking, so if you want to talk further, pick up the phone or drop me an email…if you’re reading this – I’m already a warm contact.
Dave Smith of Career Visa UK is our leading authority when it comes to personal careers advice.
He has worked in the UK recruitment industry since 1991 and is now an expert Jobsearch Consultant specialising in CV creation and improvement. If you need help in preparing to enter the Job Market for the first time or are planning on a career change – simply get in touch via his website http://www.careervisa.co.uk/. You can also read more at his online blog at http://careervisa.blogspot.com/