Networking Your Way to a New Job
A previous post, Are You Relying Too Much on Your Resume? sums up my belief, and my experience, that the best way to get your foot in the door, to find a new job, is with an introduction. And the best way to gain an introduction is by reaching out to folks for help. Some people call that networking.
Social media is an underused as well as misused job search vehicle. The biggest mistake many make on social media while searching for a position is to ask for a job. Don’t ask for a job – ask for an introduction. Employment ads placed on social networks are no better than ads placed anywhere. Responding to an ad in the dark is a cold call. Responding to an employer with an introduction is warm.
Discussion groups are a good place to share your needs. For example, I belong to a private Facebook group with close to 150 members, most located locally. Every day we share job openings as well as individual resumes and searches. Several times a week a member will ask for introductions such as, ‘‘Who knows someone at ABC Company?”
If I asked you to define networking would it be something like, “Meeting people and sharing your business needs”? Okay, sure, that’s networking but let’s expand upon that. How about reaching out to your friends and family, or networking at events that don’t have networking in their title? Any gathering of people has the potential to be a networking event. Who knows who might introduce you to the HR manager of a company on your wish list? Bet You Hadn't Thought of These Networking Opportunities.
Connect with a Recruiter
A good recruiter has connections, he or she has built relationships with employers, and the best recruiters know the industry as well as the business. Find a recruiter who speaks your language, understands your skills, and can introduce you to decision makers.
Volunteer, join a club, and get involved with community groups such as your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary. Become known as someone who can be counted on, as a person who cares, someone who helps, and you’ll be surprised what comes your way.
Remember Your Customers
In 2008 I left a VP of Operations position and went out on my own as a leadership development consultant. In 2009, I was introduced to TKO Graphix and began training their management team. A year and one-half later, I accepted a full-time position with TKO, formerly my customer. It was a good fit, and eight years later it still is.
The Thing Is
Here’s the thing, getting in the door is only the first step, you need to make a good impression during the interview process, but without an introduction, you might never have the chance to make a good impression. When you expand your definition of networking you increase your opportunities. Join in, be social, and connect your way to your next position.
Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren, and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever and The New Manager’s Workbook: A Crash Course in Effective Management.
Mandi's Two Cents: I completely agree with Randy on this one. Also, keep in mind when working with a recruiter to make sure have a good relationship with them to know where they are sending you and that they have YOUR best interest in mind and not THEIRS. If you have a recruiting question feel free to reach out and ask!
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