Hopefully you've gotten the message but if not, here it is. You need to start networking now!
Most employers don't need to advertise. There are enough applicants available to them without advertising and they'd rather consider
someone referred to them from a trusted employee or colleague. It's like looking for a doctor or an auto mechanic; most people would rather
go to someone recommended rather than to a name found in an advertisement.
Formal networking is the systematic pursuit of new contacts and information. It's organized and planned. Networking is relational; it's
all about talking to people, names, relationships, referrals and following through. A good networking relationship will be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Who you should network with:
» Service providers
» Industry contacts
» LinkedIn users
» Volunteering contacts
» Professional association members
» Social media users
» Members of industry relevant discussion forums
Here are some common networking concerns:
• I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm looking for work.
• I feel that it would be like begging for a job.
• I don't want people to think that I'm taking advantage of them.
Now let's dismiss each of these concerns:
• Looking for work doesn't carry the stigma that it did in the past. The average person will change
jobs every 3-5 years. Your networking contacts will be much more sympathetic than you may think.
• Networking isn't begging. In fact, you shouldn't be asking for a job. You should be seeking
information that may lead to a job. Usually your networking contacts won't be potential employers–
they will be people who know about potential employment. If you discover that a contact is a potential
employer, take off your networking hat and pursue employment.
• Good networking is a mutually beneficial relationship. Plan to give as much or more than you
receive. Also, you will be surprised at how willing people are to help.
• Don't just wait to bump into people. Be proactive and initiate contacts.
• Make a list of people you know/visit/are acquainted with such as friends, relatives, neighbors, sport
and social group members, co-workers, managers (current and former), and service providers
(doctors, dentists, hair stylists, mechanics, etc.). Make contact with each person on your list.
Add names of people you meet or are referred to by your contacts.
• Set networking goals. Write down specific goals for how many networking contacts you plan to
make each week. Regularly check your progress.
• Set goals for each meeting. Don't just get together and see where it leads–meet with a purpose.
Express this goal when you arrange the meeting.
• Come to the meeting prepared. Know what questions you want to ask. Take notes.
• Think about how you can make yourself stand out, in a positive way.
• Consider putting together an elevator pitch to use in impromptu networking situations:
Write and rehearse your 30-second elevator pitch.
Elevator Pitch – should include:
• Your name
• The industry/profession that interests you
• A specific position of interest to you
• A unique selling proposition – something that makes you different and
stands out. What can you do for them?
• Always ask if the person knows of anyone else you should meet (ask for referrals!).
• Then also ask if you can use her/his name when contacting the person.
• Maintain networking files. Keep a record of the outcomes of each contact and important
information about the person.
• Meet in person whenever possible. Remember: people get jobs by talking to people!
• Let the person know you value his/her information, professional opinion, time and
• Plan your follow-up. At the time you meet with someone, plan when you will contact this
person again. Write it down on a follow-up calendar.
• If you agree to do something for someone, be sure to follow through.
• Say "thank you" often. Within 24 hours either send an email, handwritten thank-you card, or
give them a phone call expressing your thanks.
As you begin networking you'll want ensure that you're representing yourself in a professional manner. This encompasses everything
from the way to you look and what you say to your online presence. You could do all the right things in person, but if your online presence
gives the wrong impression of you, those you network with may not take you seriously. One way to mitigate these risks is by managing your online
persona, especially through the use of social media.
• What is it?
ο Using technology to interact with people that have common interests.
• Examples include:
• Why is it important?
ο This is where employers will find your 'personal brand' on the internet.
What does your online presence say about you?
ο HR professionals are using social networking sites more and more
• Taking advantage of social networking as a job search tool is great, but in order to be an
effective tool, you need to make sure that your online profile is clean and presentable.
ο Make it appealing to an employer, not you – this may be your first chance to
make a good impression
ο Everything should be professional and appropriate – expect that employers are
going to review it
ο Your contact information, especially your email address, is another
representation of yourself and should be professional. Your email address should
be some variation of your name.