Are you successfully using your network in order to help you find your next job?
In today’s job market, networking is an important tool to help you get ahead. Of course, this isn’t to say networking is the utmost end-all solution to assuring you WILL get a new job, however, it surely gives you a boost and may also give you an edge over some of the other job seekers.
There are many reasons why you may not be utilizing networking as a tool in your job search. You may think networking sounds too complicated and time consuming. You may not be a very social person by nature and the word “networking” is a bit intimidating. Or, you may not really know what networking is, how it may help, or where to even start.
The good news is that including networking in your job search strategy is easy and not as intimidating as it may sound. You’re also able to put forth effort into areas of networking you’re most comfortable with, and even a little bit of it can go a long way. Think of it this way: Even letting ONE person know you’re looking for a new job or are open to opportunities is already starting a networking reach and could lead to a new role later on.
Easy Steps To Utilize Networking While Job Searching
- Close Family & Friends
If you’re ready to let your inner circle know you’re looking for a new job, then start by telling your family and friends. Let them know what type of role you’re looking for and they can let you know if they see anything you may be interested in. Also, you just won’t know if your mom, sister, uncle, cousin, best friend, or neighbor may have a friend that may be hiring. They won’t know you’re interested in a new job if you don’t tell them! It just takes that one day for Uncle Bob to text you saying “hey I remember you told me a few weeks ago that you’re looking for a new job and my neighbor actually said they need more people at their workplace.. you should check it out.”
- Social Media
If you use social media, and you’re comfortable with your connections/followers knowing you’re in the job market, then tell them. One quick post letting folks know you’re open to new job opportunties is all it may take. You never know when one of your followers or even second or third degree connections may know of a job opening. Posting something like “Just wanted to let everyone know I’m looking for a new job in the Finance (or whatever) field, so if you see anything please let me know. I’d appreciate it!” Or maybe “I’m starting to look around at different job opportunities (or career options), so if you know of anything you think I’d be a good fit for, feel free to message me!” .. and before you know it, you may get a reply like “I saw your post about looking for a job in finance and my wife said their work needs a Finance Analyst.. here’s the website if you want to take a look at the job.”
- LinkedIn (THE professional networking platform; this is where it’s at!)
If you’re a job seeker without a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to go and create one. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool that may help not only in your job search, but also in connecting with other local professionals in your field, learning about education and training opportunities, and more. There isn’t one set rule on how to use LinkedIn to network; it depends on your level of comfort as it relates to interacting with people you don’t immediately know in person.
Here are some great ways to start networking on LinkedIn:
–> Start strategically connecting with people who are in the same field as you (or the field you want to be in), people who live/work in the area you want to live/work in, work for companies you’re interested in working with, etc. Some people are afraid to send connection requests to “strangers” on LinkedIn, however, MANY people who are on the platform are on there because they too WANT to connect with others!
–> Comment on other’s posts you’re interested in (bonus if it’s very related to the industry or field you work in / want to work in), hit the “like” button on other’s posts, and follow the pages of companies you are interested in. This will get your name out there and prompt more interactions with / from others.
–> If you’re very comfortable, you could reach out via direct messaging to folks who work at companies you’re interested in or the field you work in and start a conversation. Here’s an example to an opening message: “Hey thanks for connecting. I’m looking for a new role in Construction Management and saw you work for ABC Construction Company. What’s it like to work there? Do you know of any professional contsruction membership groups in the area that are worth joining?” This message will open the door to a conversation with someone who now knows your name and knows you’re looking for a role in their same industry. Who knows; maybe they’ll remember you and send you a job opening link one day! Don’t be too upset if you send a direct message and don’t get a reply, however; LinkedIn has a lot of sales people and even some scammers who use direct messaging to send mass-marketing messages, so some people opt to not pay too much attention to their private messages. Most folks, however, do try to keep up on their new messages and may reply. When it comes down to it; you won’t know unless you try.
–> LinkedIn has job boards for you to search jobs and apply. If you apply for a job on LinkedIn, you could always send a message to someone at the company who works in HR or Recruiting (or who works in a similar role as to what you applied for), and tell them you applied for a role at their company and would love to learn more about the opportunity. Some folks won’t reply, and some will. Again; it’s worth a try!
–> To sum it up, the more you put yourself out there on LinkedIn (strategically and professionally, of course), the more people you’ll meet. Then, the more people you meet, the more possibility for you to learn about or be connected to job opportunities. You never know when one of your LinkedIn connections will send you a job lead, tag you in a post about a job opening, or refer you for a job.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all networking strategies and routes to take in your networking journey, but it’s a good start. We also didn’t go over overall job search strategies here (like always having a current resume on hand, creating an Indeed profile, filling out job interest cards at agencies you’re interested in, etc); that’s a topic for another post.
Hoping this was a helpful intro to networking!
If you need help with your resume, LinkedIn profile, job search strategies, communication tactics, or interview preparation, we at Eagle Mountain are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us to find out how affordable and easy it is to get started! 🦅