Having effective networking skills can give you an edge over other job hunters. By networking effectively and consistently, you can find non-advertised jobs in the hidden job market.
A whopping 80% of all jobs are filled without employer advertising. Job applicants get these hidden jobs though recommendations and referrals from associates, family or friends of employers as well as company employees, vendors or some other company-associated contacts.
By networking and talking to people working for your target company, you can get information about available non-advertised jobs as well as jobs that are going to be available in the near future. Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thos003
Of course, you can also find information about hidden jobs by going online and visiting career and employment webpages of your target companies. If you want more information, here’s the link: How to Research Your Target Companies.
You can network online and electronically. Here’s a good resource for that: Networking to Reach Employers In the Hidden Job Market.
Anything you can do to get an edge over other job seekers can help you land a job faster. So, networking online and electronically can be helpful in your job search. However, networking in person can be far more effective in getting a job. By talking directly to people working for your target company, you can get information not just about currently available non-advertised jobs but also about any job that is going to be available in the near future. For example, positions that will need to be filled when someone retires, relocates or resigns.
More importantly, you might get recommendations and referrals from employer contacts or company-associated contacts if you manage to connect well or even impress them during networking. Getting referrals and recommendations can really help your job application stand out from other job seekers.
How do you network effectively if you’re networking challenged?
The problem is that most people hate networking. Most people who are willing to network usually do not have the necessary skills for effective networking. If you’re one of the lucky few that can comfortably and effectively network with others, then you can easily use your networking skills to find available non-advertised jobs and soon-to-be-available jobs. Hopefully, you can also get recommendations and referrals.
Personally, I hate networking when it is forced and strategic. I like it when it happens naturally and I can have good conversations and make real connections with people. I’m terrible when it comes to making small talk. I especially hate making strategic small talk during networking functions. It makes me feel like I’m trying to manipulate someone or that I’m begging for something. As you can probably guess, I’m pretty lousy when it comes to traditional networking. I do it as infrequently as possible.
As a job hunter, it’s very important for you to develop good networking skills. If you want to educate yourself about networking, check out some books from the library or get some information online. Check out these networking resources with tips that can help you improve your networking skills for job hunting.
You have to network effectively and consistently in order to be successful in landing a job. With practice, you can get better at it.
If you’re seriously networking challenged, here’s an easier way to network effectively…
You can volunteer for a charitable organization in your community and network with other volunteers. Did you know that many executives and employees of major companies do a lot of volunteer work? By volunteering along side these potential company-associated contacts and talking to them, you can get valuable information about available hidden jobs as well as soon-to-be-available jobs.
Some volunteering opportunities are more obvious. If you want to work in any hospital, you can try volunteering there. It’s a really good way to meet important hospital-associated contacts. Volunteers are valued in all organizations. So, don’t hesitate to say, “hello” and introduce yourself or talk to top hospital executives when they don’t look busy with employees, patients or their families.
For other industries, you have to be more creative. You can volunteer in your field of interest or you can volunteer for a non-profit that is popular for people in your industry. For example, many tech executives and employees for major companies in Silicon Valley, California volunteer for the Second Harvest Food Bank. You can talk to these potential contacts and try to get information about their companies as well as any available job opportunities while you’re doing your volunteering tasks; you can also talk to them if you meet them at any non-profit meeting.
Visit Volunteer Match to find volunteering and networking opportunities in your area.
By volunteering and networking, you can make a difference in your community and you can meet important contacts who can potentially help you get a job.
Try to relax when networking and talking to other volunteers. Keep in mind that people who volunteer tend to be very nice and helpful. So, don’t hesitate to ask them questions and advice about applying for a job in their company. Just be respectful of them and you should have a positive networking experience.
Want more networking tips? Watch this video: Networking to Get a Job.