With the devices we have now, it’s so easy to send a mass email with a CV to multiple recruiters. If this sounds like something you have done recently, don’t worry! We totally understand how scary it can be to approach someone in person and tell them about what you have to offer in a way of skills and experience. But networking is an essential part of your personal and professional life and must be practiced on a regular basis. It not only increases your chances of finding a job it also improves your communication and interpersonal skills.
It gives your interactions purpose so that a simple exchange of information between you and a stranger can open up opportunities that are of interest to you and your career. Growing a list of professional and social contacts begins with taking the first step and approaching employers. Don’t only rely on an email or a telephone call. Try to strengthen your networking skills by reaching out to them in person – adding a personal touch. It also shows initiative and in time, develops trust – traits that are looked favorably upon.
Your future employer has a pile of job applications to sort through, what’s going to make your application stand out? Yes, they will be looking for relevant skills and experience. But their sorting will mostly depend on familiarity. This means that may consider interviewing someone they’ve seen or talked with earlier. As mentioned above, begin building a rapport with the employer and their place of business before you start applying. The more you know about them – the greater success you have in matching what you can bring to what the company is looking for.
Where Can I Start?
Visit in Person. You may visit a company to inquire about a job opening you saw online by speaking to the receptionist. This is a smart move because the receptionist knows everything that goes on within the company and is your best chance of getting all the information you need to make a good impression. Be sure to leave your contact information with them and follow them up in a day or two.
Socialise at Events. You may attend a social or corporate event. Even if you don’t know that many people there, make sure you start introducing yourself to those around you. You never know – you may bump into the right person who can share useful tips on how to get the specific role you want. Offer to swap contact information so you can keep in touch with them.
Make friends at School. If you are looking to begin your career while studying, joining clubs and groups at your Uni, TAFE or college will get you to mix with people that relate to your interests and industry.
Get Involved in Local Community. This may mean volunteering for a cause you believe in and helping your local school, library, council, etc. by offering your skills and getting to know more people along the way.
Connect with your Past. Just because you’re unemployed doesn’t mean you’re disadvantaged. In fact, you have a great network of people in your address book. Ex-colleagues, for example, may be a useful source of information in your job hunt. Just send them a quick email or text and arrange a catch-up or if traveling is an issue, you can always have a quick conversation over the phone. Most likely, they will be happy to hear from you and be glad you thought of them. If it’s a job you’re after, don’t let that be the main topic you talk about. Remember, networking goes both ways and there must be a give and take. If you’re doing most of the taking then you may need to slow down and give a little back.
Connect with your Current Contacts. Friends and family can be a great support system and an important part of expanding your network. For example, You may hear that an Uncle works at a bank or your close friend knows someone that’s leaving their job soon and that you would be a perfect fit for the role. Whatever the situation, make sure you’re connected and up to date with your current contacts.
Yep, Done. Now, How Can I Network Better?
Don’t rush your relationships. It takes time to build networks so settle in for a lot of investing.
If your purpose is to find work, don’t let that be your opening line – Let it naturally fit the flow of your conversation. You can always mention that once you’re both well acquainted.
Networking is a two-way street. So make sure that each person is offering something valuable the other person can benefit from.
Don’t be too pushy or too laid back. It’s important to keep a balance of how frequently you get into contact with potential employers.
Thankfully, there’s LinkedIn – a clever and professional social media platform that may just be the missing link to your dream job. It gives the average resume a makeover and says goodbye to boring email attachments that may or may not be read by employers.
What is LinkedIn? and How Can It Help Me Find a Job?
LinkedIn is a professional version of Facebook. It allows Industries, businesses, professionals, and job-seekers to connect more efficiently. By creating a profile, you are able to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers looking to fill a position in their company. The cool thing about the platform is that you can see who’s viewed your profile. You can also privately message the person of interest and follow them to keep up to date with their postings. This resourceful platform aims to increase engagement with your network and changes the whole premise of applying for jobs. Why? because instead of approaching businesses, businesses may be approaching you. By optimising your profile, you will have a greater chance of getting noticed.
How Can I Optimise My LinkedIn Profile?
Those that attended Seed Training Group’s workshop were given great tools to improve the visibility of their LinkedIn profiles.