When asked about their networking strategies, many people will talk about attending happy hours or industry-specific mixers in order to make contacts. Or they’ll mention that they’ve reached out to family, friends, and old classmates to help them track down job leads. But there are a few important networking opportunities that job seekers often miss, either because they feel these might be too awkward to use, or because they simply don’t think of these in the first place. Here are 3 opportunities for networking that every job seeker should consider:
The Company Website
Nothing like going straight to the source. As many well know, the best way to secure a job is to know someone on the inside. You may have sent out hundreds of resumes in response to online postings, but heard nothing. Indeed, this isn’t all that unusual, as many of these positions have already been filled, or the hiring manager might have received thousands of responses. Instead, try tracking down a few names and email addresses on the company website, and establish a rapport with someone. Try to ask a specific question about the job you’re interested in, and ask that person to refer you to the individual in charge of hiring for that position – that is, the person who will be making the decision regarding the job, not the HR department. If there isn’t a position to be filled at the moment, at least you’ll be among the first to know when one opens up.
Professional Networking Sites
Don’t be afraid to hit up your LinkedIn network. Conduct a search based on companies you are interested in, and reach out to people who come up. People place their profiles on these websites to network, so don’t hesitate to do just that. Browse through your connections’ contacts as well, and see if there is anyone you can talk to. The worst someone can do is ignore you or tell you they’re not interested in speaking, in which case you’ve lost nothing. Follow the advice from above, and start engaging people from your extended network in conversations.
The Guy on the Street
You never know whom you might meet when you start a conversation with a friendly stranger – and you never know whom they might know. Disregard what your mother told you and talk to everyone! The guy serving you coffee, the lady cutting your hair, people in line at the post office – the individuals around you every day, especially the ones in the service industry who interact with a lot of people already, know others who just might help you land your next job. Don’t be a pest, but don’t hesitate to bring up your job search if the moment is right.
It’s important to continually remind yourself of the importance of networking when trying to secure your next job. Bear in mind, too, that when you start networking in new and creative ways, you’re bound to see some great results!
Until next time,
The Doostang Team