Having the right qualifications, work experience, and skills, etc. are all perfect to have in your job seeking bag. But there is one thing that often gets overlooked – networking. When it comes to looking for jobs, leveraging relationships that can work in your favour can make your job hunting quest a lot easier. If you know someone who knows someone who can help push your resume from the pile of thousands of applications can boost your chances of landing an interview at your dream company.
With proper networking, you can also stay ahead of the game by knowing when a particular department is hiring or when a job you have been eyeing is up for grabs even before the official listing is up. This can also give you ample time to prepare for the interview and learn more about the skills the new job would require.
What is networking?
Networking is all about making contacts and working on building a long term relationship with people who you think can help you connect with the right people or who can give your job application a boost. Such professional relationships can also lead to future opportunities and jobs that may or may not present themselves otherwise. Such relationships can also lead to other things such as connections, advice, referrals, support, training, etc. There are various networking tips that you can consider if you need a head start:
- Know more people than you think you do: You might be under the impression that you don’t really know anyone who could help you with your job search. There is a good chance someone from your list can give you advice or move you in the right direction. If you don’t ask, you will never know. So, prepare a list and include all your family members, friends, neighbours, teachers, etc. The bigger your network is, the better your chances of moving in the right direction.
- Reach out to them: Preparing a list is fine but if you don’t reach out to your connections, then they wouldn’t know what situation you are in. So, start getting in touch with people in your network and talk to them about your professional life and ask them about theirs to build a rapport. Ask them if they can help you with your job quest, and you may be surprised with who they know!
- Prepare them to be your reference: Make sure you prepare the people you know to be ready to become your references – people who can endorse you for your skills, abilities, and character. So, contact the people in your network and make sure they know that they are your references. Explain your goals to them and seek their assistance whenever necessary.
- Build relationships: Don’t use your connections for only your gain. Networking is a give and take process that involves sharing information. So, if you expect people to help you, then they also expect the same out of you.