Every third new hire in the US starts with a personal referral.
Why are referrals so popular?
Because they are the most cost effective way of recruiting new employees, and they report similar success rates as other methods of hiring new employees, which are all more expensive.
Even you can get a new job, or even a new career in this way. The key is to choose the right people (those who can help us getting a job we want to have), and to connect with them in a right way (so they see the value we can bring to the company, and understand how they can benefit from helping us).
Where to start?
It is true that you can use LinkedIn or Ryze to connect with powerful people. What is more, the networks are packed with recruiters, with people who are always hunting for new talent. But remember that they are not your friends. They won’t recommend you as SOMEBODY. You are simply another job candidate on their list.
True networking is based on real connections, not the virtual one. The people that really know you and understand the value you can bring to any organization. Only these people can recommend you to an employer in a way that will make you special in their eyes. But how to get such a connection?
- Take part in networking events, and approach the right people.
- Use your connections from the past to introduce you to right people.
- Go to seminars, TEDx conferences, events in your city.
- Accept a speaking assignment, or even apply for one.
- Do not sit at home. Go out, go somewhere!
Interview is also a form of networking (especially informational interview)
He was preparing for a next career move which he planned to do a year later, and once the right time arrived, he had many emails and numbers to contact. Those weren’t the unknowns anymore. He had met with the people before, and it made a big difference for him.
Another way of connecting with the right people is an informational interview. Meeting someone from an HR department of a big company is always great. If you have an opportunity, you should take it. And if you do not have it, you should create it (asking for informational interviews, going to events, meeting people).
Career networking is not as difficult as most people believe. One does not need charisma or natural talent to build good connection with people. All you have to do is to show respect, enthusiasm, and interest for another human being. At the end of the day, hiring managers and recruiters are also only people. They like when someone is interested in them and in their career….
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