JOB & CAREER NETWORKING
THE CAREER PLAYBOOK GUIDE
5. START NETWORKING: The ultimate
goal of networking is learning how to develop
contacts with the right people who can advance
your career, or refer you to the hiring manager
who has the job you really want.
Network your way to your Dream Job.
The best way to connect your cover letter and resume to
your dream job is by networking. What's networking? Networking
simply means telling people that you are looking for a job
and enlisting them into your job search team.
It is a focused way of developing and building a group
of contacts; people who can provide career information that
can lead to a new or better job. It can include advice,
recommendations, or actually being hired. Each person you
meet and have contact with brings you one step closer to
getting the job you want.
These people can include your family, friends, neighbors,
people you knew at school, former co-workers and professional
people like doctors and lawyers. Even if you don't know
people very well, most are willing to help if you ask.
Ask the people in your network if they know about any openings.
Also ask them to ask their friends, family and co-workers
about any possibilities. Research shows that this "third
level" can yield results. You will often find a job
not through who you know, but through someone that your
friend or contact knows.
How Effective Is Networking?
- The Wall Street Journal reported recently
that 94 percent of successful job hunters
claimed that networking had made all the difference
- Sixty to 90 percent of jobs are found informally
- mainly through friends, relatives, and direct
contacts. The U.S. Department of Labor reports
that 63.4 percent of all workers use informal
job finding methods.
- Mark S. Granovetter, a Harvard sociologist,
reported to Forbes magazine that "informal
contacts" account for almost 75 percent
of all successful job searches. Agencies find
nine percent of new jobs for professional
and technical people, and advertisements yield
another 10 percent or so.
The Benefits of Networking
If you are serious about finding the best position for
your next career move in a timely manner, you must network.
At least 60 percent of job openings in the U.S. are not
filled through advertising, recruiters or other traditional
methods. They are filled through networking and informal
contacts. The goal is to move into the hidden, un-advertised
job market, using every available resource that contact
with other people will provide you.
Current employees are among the best sources of referrals.
Many firms report that 40 to 50 percent of their openings
are filled by candidates referred to by staff members. Moreover,
companies view such candidates more favorably than those
brought in through other methods, because they already know
something about the organization and have a personal connection
Here's an example of the extraordinary benefits of networking
from The Job Hunting Handbook: Includes the Job Outlook
to 2008 by Harry Dahlstrom. Mr. Dahlstrom writes: Just
pretend that you are an employer and you have a job opening
to fill. Which of the following would you be most eager
to interview: (a) an unknown person who answers your advertisement,
(b) an unknown person who mails you a resume, or (c) a friend
recommended by one of your workers? No doubt, you would
choose the "friend". All the other applicants
are unknowns. As a manager, you would probably think, "Jennifer
is a good employee...hard working...likes the job...someone
I can depend on. I'll bet her friend has the same qualities."
If you are wondering why a busy professional would take
the time to meet you remember; (1) The average person enjoys
helping others, and information and advice are free to give
(even when jobs aren't); (2) People enjoy talking about
themselves, their ideas, and their opinions; (3) Every now
and then, people enjoy a break in their daily routine; and
finally, (4) Most people are not so busy that they don't
have a free half hour sometime during a week. -- Source:
The Job Hunting Handbook: Includes the Job Outlook to 2008
by Harry Dahlstrom.
Brief Statements, BIG Results
Prepare 5 to 10-second statements about yourself and what
you have to offer.
It's not enough to have great talents and qualifications
to get a job. You have to sound great too! Your opening
statement sets the tone for your entire job search strategy.
Take Networking for example. Knowing how to ask for, and
receive, the valuable information you require is the key
to finding the right job.
Delivering 5 to 10-second statements that instantly brings
into focus the information you desire is critical to your
success. Preparing these brief statements is no easy task.
It takes a lot of time and effort summarizing who you are
and what you want. However, your efforts will be rewarded
as your listener's will recognize your professionalism and
be more willing to help. By skipping this essential step,
your chances for success will greatly diminish.
Most job hunters have difficulty describing their area
Ask a member of the Career Playbook Team what they do and
you might hear, "We help people develop action plans and
strategies to succeed in their job search and get the results
they want fast". If delivered properly, your listener will
ask a follow-up question, such as; Tell me more, or, How
do you do that?
An accountant might say, "I'm a Certified Public Accountant.
My specialty is business and tax planning. I'm currently
looking for a CFO position with an organization that wants
to improve their bottom line".
A person in sales might say, "I'm a sales manager with
proven experience hiring, training and motivating successful
sales teams. I'm looking for a management opportunity helping
a company grow sales and open new revenue streams".
Brief statements are a consequence of the breakneck speed
of today's business world, as time and attention spans are
far too short. It's hard to be concise. But the less you
say, the more you are understood.
That's why reporters quote experts who are quotable! They
only have a small amount of space to write their story,
so they need to be concise. If you have this skill, you
will be more successful in your job search.
On average, statements of about five to ten seconds translate
into approximately 15 to 30 words. Therefore, carefully
choosing the right words to create effective statements
is vital. With practice, and knowledge about what you want
from your networking contacts, most people will be only
too happy to help you.