Gone are the days when job searching simply meant checking out the Situations Vacant column in your local paper – things have got ever more complex, especially with the rise of social media. Jobseekers these days have to resort to a whole range of activities in their quest to get employment. One of the most effective of those activities is networking which incidentally is one of the activities that job-seekers tend to dread the most. If you dread just that, our basic tips on how to handle job networking should hopefully help.
Start with those you know
It’s always much easier to network with people that you already know – friends, family, whatever. That’s why you should start your job networking with them. Don’t assume that they already are aware that you are looking for a new job – let them know! Telling other people that you are on the lookout for a new role will ensure that they keep you in mind if they hear of anything suitable. Of course, even better than that, they could already be aware of an opening or vacancy that would be right up your street. Use your existing contacts to help spread the word about your job search and open doors for you.
Job networking entails quite a bit of proactivity. It’s essential that you get out there and meet people in as many places as possible. You should ensure that you attend all job fairs, meetups or business events which could potentially help you in your job search. When you’re there, you’ll need to make sure that you engage with the right people – the employers, the recruiters, the people of influence. Always behave and appear professional at these events – first impressions last after all. You should use your local newspapers, radio, noticeboards and of course social media to keep abreast of what’s happening in your local area.
Whilst the real life meetups are essential, so too are virtual meetups. Never underestimate the power of social media for your job search. Improve and strengthen your online presence by making sure that you appear professional at all times. Use networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter to connect, engage and interact with employers, recruiters and people of influence in your chosen market sector. The key thing to remember is that you should always strive to make a good impression – your interactions on social media can help make or break your job search.
Stay in touch
If you’re already on the hunt for a new job, this one may be a tad late to implement. However, better late than never as a wise man once said! You should strive as much as possible to stay in contact with former colleagues, or classmates. You never know what that guy who was in the next room in your university halls is doing now. He could be a hiring manager at the firm you’re looking to work at! Maintaining connections with people like this can prove really beneficial to your job networking. Never assume that you won’t cross paths again.
Broaden your horizons
It’s easy to only connect and engage with people in your particular industry sector or career. However, you actually stand a much better chance of improving your job prospects if you broaden your horizons somewhat. Diversifying the types of people you connect and network with can actually increase your opportunities. If you attend a networking event, speak to strangers – not just the ones that you know or know of. By having a direct and proactive approach like this, you could help open more doors for yourself and subsequently find more job opportunities.
We hope that by highlighting how to handle job networking we have helped any of you who dread or fear doing just that. Got any other tips you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments below?