Job Search Strategies: Networking

The importance of people

Without question, job searching is a process of calling people, meeting people, and interacting with people. By comparison, written documents can’t:

  • Give you the inside story about what it’s like to work for a particular company
  • Tell you about unadvertised openings
  • Refer you to someone with the hiring authority
  • Hire YOU

Only people can do those things!

Networking: a path to the hidden job market

The opportunities referred to as the “hidden job market” or the “Informal job market” are filled by people who know and inform other people. It is sometimes said that the best jobs never make it to the “open” job market. They are filled by word of mouth quickly or exclusively. Networking is your vehicle directly into the “hidden job market.”

There are several benefits of networking:

  • Job security: over time, as your network grows and more people are aware of your skills and experience, more people will actively seek out your assistance, especially if they know you are in transition
  • Better opportunities: through networking, you are exposed to many more people, and many more opportunities
  • Less stress: while the idea of networking can be stressful, once you get going, you will find that you are engaged in meaningful conversations and are building relationships with others
  • Positive reinforcement: by talking to others, you will gain valuable feedback on your presentation, as well as your skills and experience
  • Stiff competition: with so many job seekers actively looking for alternative employment today, can you afford not to be engaged in the technique that will give you the most advantage?

Some of the advantages of networking include:

  • Expands the number of champions you have people who are helping to promote you in the marketplace
  • Keeps you current and up-to-date – you’ll constantly be learning as you network
  • Reduces isolation – a job search can be a lonely experience. Online networking can open up many new doors of opportunity, whereas face-to-face networking helps to get you “out of the house” and interacting with others
  • Meet new people outside your current sphere – networking enables you to expand the number of people you will meet
  • Presents new ideas and new contacts
  • Boosts your confidence

We are still in a time of uncertainty. There is no longer the ability to physically go to a networking event to expand your network. Here are a few articles to help open doors to other networking ideas through Covid-19.

  • Enterprisers Project walks through tips on how to network. Saying “It’s more important than ever to embrace these tools to connect with colleagues, foster job satisfaction, and even build new relationships. Here are a few ideas on how to get started.” Click here to read the article.
  • Forbes wrote an article “How to Virtually Network in The Midst of a Global Pandemic” Click here to read the article.
  • Take The Lead Women has 7 Tips for networking even during a pandemic. Click here to read the article.