It is important to network during your job search, both online and face-to-face. The more you mingle, the more you have a chance to make the right connections and hear about opportunities. Those of you who aren’t sure how to get started, here are a few ideas.
A. Using social media to network is critical to a job search.
There are many people who are not familiar with how social media works helps with a job search. There are an increasing numbers of stories of how job seekers have identified and connected with the right people to find that next opportunity.
For example on Linkedin, you can find current and former employees of a company where you want to work or that have the same type of position you are seeking. Or, you might find someone who just seems to know lots of people that could be helpful.
Start out by connecting with them. Then, continue to reach out and see if you can talk by phone or meet in person. When you meet, make sure you don’t only talk about what you need, make sure you get to know them as well and how you can be of help. When you do talk about your job search, be specific on how you need their help. Don’t make them guess. You might want them to introduce you to others they know in the industry to keep their eyes open for a particular type of position. Be specific.
B. Go to networking meetings specifically for job seekers.
We have a great organization in Arizona called Career Connectors. If you haven’t tried them out and you are a job seeker here in Arizona check out their website and go to a meetings. It is a way to meet others, get advice from experts in resume writing and Linkedin, and from employers that are hiring. They also have a presenter at each meeting that speaks on career related and motivating topics.
Also check out Phoenix networking which is a calendar of networking events across metro-Phoenix and figure out what might be of interest.
If you aren’t in Arizona, check the internet to see about job networks in your area.
C. Attend industry conferences and join organizations.
Yes, this one takes money, but is there a better way to get in front of numerous employers at once? You will have the chance to talk with them in a more informal way, show that you are skilled and motivated, and eventually let them known what you are looking for. Get email and phone numbers to follow up on and keep in touch. You never know who knows somebody that can help you network and find that next job.
And I believe it will give you a lift being “part” of the industry again if you are unemployed, so that if you lost some confidence along the way during your job search, it can invigorate you to keep going. Plus, in interviews, and on your resume, you can talk about current trends and learning from the conference, so that employers know you are keeping up to date.