Career industry experts claim that most job openings are never actually publicly announced or advertised, but filled through extensive networking and word-of-mouth. In fact, the higher the level of the job, the less likely the job opening is openly advertised. Even knowing this, however, most job hunters still fail to fully use the power of networking to its full extent in their favor.
How Networking Works
The concept of networking means building a large list of contacts. This includes any individuals you may have met through a variety of business and social events and using them to benefit or help your job search. Different people in your network can potentially provide you with job leads, introduce you to key players in a company, or give you information and advice regarding a certain organization or industry so you can widen the horizons in your network.
Networking is an ideal way to get the inside scoop on a job offer, whether it's advertised online, offline, or not at all. Also, your professional network can serve as an important resource after you land the position as well. Therefore, it's always a good idea to build a strong foundation of community supporters.
Here are some resourceful ways to network your way to the ideal job offer:
1. Use professional online websites to network and search.
Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and particularly LinkedIn, can open the doors and lead you to your ideal career. While you may not think it’s actually possible to gain employment through one of these massive networking sites, employers use them all the time for just such purposes.
One of the best things about initially reaching out to someone online is that most professionals have few reservations about making contact with potential candidates via a website. Over time, as you get to know more and more individuals online and start to participate in conversations with them regarding key business subjects, you can then begin expanding your network in order to include individuals that your contacts already know. This is precisely how networking grows, evolves, and becomes a valuable resource.
2. Network offline as well as online.
You can potentially meet many business professionals in your local area just by joining charitable groups, professional organizations, and business associations. Also, consider volunteering your time in order to support local civic groups where you’ll undoubtedly meet many influential business persons as well.
If you choose to volunteer, try to keep the work itself in context with your particular line of work. For instance, a CPA may choose to volunteer at a local church by managing their accounting workload. By volunteering in this manner, it shows individuals in your professional network your expert skills and knowledge in your specific field.
3. Give more than you receive.
Social media networks are a prime source when it comes to networking on a professional level, but it can’t be all ‘take’ and no ‘give’. Show your support by commenting on the statuses of your connections, ‘like’ their posts, and support their skill sets.
Constantly receiving advice, recommendations, and interview invitations from your network is one thing, but you have to give back as well. Once you’re considered a ‘supporter’, you can then reach out to people when you need help. In doing so, your network will likely be more approachable as well as supportive.
4. Work your network to find the ideal job offer.
Between both your online and offline efforts, you’ve developed an impressive network of business professionals who now know what you’re all about and what you can do. Now that you have a solid network in place, you can begin networking your way to a great job.
One key thing you can to do is to create a website that contains your resume and other vital contact information. This makes it very easy for your contacts to distribute your expert qualifications directly to their own network. Also, it makes it easier for individuals to contact you if they want to use your services.
5. Keep the lines of communication open.
The real key to landing a great job offer through the power of networking is to regularly communicate with your contacts to make them aware that you’re looking for a job. The day will come when you’ll feel secure enough in the power of your network to be completely frank and forthcoming about your desire to find a job position. With your network working behind the scenes on your behalf and your qualifications easily accessible, your network will eventually start generating multiple job offers.
Your social media network is literally a dynamic and intricate web of potential contacts that you can utilize in order to find your ideal job. Believe it or not, many of the best job positions available aren’t ever posted in newspapers or online. In fact, they can only be found on your professional social media network. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to start connecting to others and making solid connections so that one day you can land your dream job.
By Andre Bradley