The majority of job openings in both large and small markets are filled through networking. Successful job seekers know that hiring managers like to bring people on board that they know or that are recommended through trusted friends and co-workers. Therefore, polished job search networking skills are essential. Check out the following tips to help you rise to the top of the potential employee pool.
1. Cast a wide net.
Many people make the mistake of only networking with close family, friends, and neighbors. You must cast your net much wider than this to establish an effective network. Other networking sources to consider include:
- Members of any community organization, club or sports team in which you are involved.
- Fellow alumni of schools that you attended.
- Members of professional organizations in your field. For example, in the field of public and media relations, I belong to the Public Relations Society of America which has more than 21,000 members and fellow practitioners.
- Past co-workers, bosses, and clients.
- Service providers such as your doctor, dentist, hair dresser, veterinarian, etc…
2.Document, Document, Document
While networking, keep a record of who you contact, what information that you receive from them and what follow up is needed. By writing this down in a notebook, you will have that information right at your fingertips and you will not get confused about the details. Trust me, if you don’t keep careful notes, things will quickly become a blur.
3. Make networking a year round part of your life, whether you have a job or not.
Individuals with the best, most powerful networks, cultivate those networks year round. They do not network only when they need a job. They make it a part of their daily life year end and year out. They touch bases with the members of their networks from time to time and keep up with developments with those persons in their circles. So once you get started networking, keep it up in both times of employment and not.