Networking is a key ingredient for job seekers who want to get in front of employers and be seen as recommended candidates. It helps you to find job opportunities that may not be advertised, gain insights into the hiring landscape and specific industries, develop a professional profile and reputation, enhance interviewing skills, and even provide mentorship as you progress in your career.
People tend to conduct business primarily with those they know and like. In addition, it’s difficult to compete with a stack of applications in response to an open job listing. Networking puts you in a smaller pool of applicants, and can lead to job leads before the position is posted or even before it’s known that the organization needs new talent.
You can start building your network by identifying your target audience and participating in networking events, social media groups, or online communities. You can also expand your connections by asking existing contacts for advice or introductions to people in their networks. However, be careful not to approach your contacts solely to ask them for a job or favor — that can be off-putting and make you look like you’re just using them to advance your own career.
Many people don’t realize that their primary networks (family members, friends, civic club colleagues) are a powerful source of information and job leads. Start by looking through your address book or social-media profiles and writing down names of people you think might be able to help you move forward in your search. Networking for job seekers