We live in an era of connections and recommendations. Doesn’t matter how much value we place on our education and experience, statistics show the truth: Nearly half of new hires made in the US in 2011 were based on personal referrals. Some people may say it is strange, but I do not think so. It’s just about seeing the things from the point of view of hiring managers.
Job seekers nowadays can easily prepare for all the interview questions in advance. They can even cheat and pretend to be someone else on their resume. On the top of that, recruitment is a very costly and lengthy process. That’s why it is simply better to use a word of advice from someone we trust. If a good employee recommends his friend for certain job, employers typically take this word seriously and give this person a chance, at least to show what he can do in an interview.
To conclude this introduction, career networking has become an important part of ones success. Well, we all have friends that have some jobs and can recommend us to someone. However, it does not always goes about the right positions we really want to hold or these people simply do not have that power. That’s why the clever job seekers try to improve their networking skills and connect with people that really can help them to get the right job.
Where to start?
Many people claim that we live in an era of web 2.0, in an are of social media. This is true only to certain extend. For example, if you are wise user of LinkedIn or Ryze, you can possible create relationships there and use it for your career. These social networks are packed with recruiters, that try to catch the fish in the pool. However, it goes mostly about specialized people and at the end of the day – it does not bring the real benefit of networking. These people will not recommend you to someone. You simply represent yet another candidate for the job for them.
True networking is the one based on real connections, not on the virtual one. The people that really know you and understand the added value you can bring to an organization. Such people can really recommend you to an employer, without a need of competing with hundreds of other applicants. To get such a real contacts, you should:
- Take part in live networking event and actively approach the right people
- Use your connections from the past to introduce you to the right people
- Being an active player on the era of social media, meaning to actively participate in the discussion groups, answer questions and try to build a reputation of a professional there.
Job interview is also a form of networking
I knew a guy who went to many job interview. Sometimes he even wasn’t interested in the job, but although he went to meeting with an employer. Why he was doing it?
Well, job interviews are one of the best forms of career networking. You can create relationship with people that literally choose the people for the job. Can you imagine someone better?
This guy was simply trying to demonstrate his level of professionalism in an interview and build a good relationship with the interviewers. At the end of the session he always mentioned his interest in future positions they would recruit for. Doing this, he build a strong network of contacts and has not struggled to have a good job ever since. Do you want to follow his example? If yes, you should for sure:
- Be well prepared for every single job interview
- Be full of enthusiasm and show interest also for the interviewer and his personality
- Clearly state that you are interested also in the future offers and give a call/ write an email time to time to these people to question about the new availabilities in their companies
Career networking is not as difficult as most people believe. One do not need to have a charisma or natural talent to build good relations with the others. All you have to do is to show respect, enthusiasm and interest for another human beings. At the end of the day, hiring managers and recruiters also also humans.
On the top of that, you should utilize the power of online networking. Become a member of LinkedIn and be active there. Most people just create a profile and wait. However, that’s not how a successful career can bu built… I wish you good luck in your active and honest relationship building.