5 Simple Steps For Finding A Job Through Networking

Finding a job is rarely an easy process, and these days it sometimes feels downright impossible. While traditional methods such as answering a classified ad, visiting locations with “help wanted” in the window and checking online job listings certainly yield results for some people, these avenues often produce hundreds of equally qualified applicants and it is very difficult to stand out in the sea of resumes and applications.

Networking, when done correctly, is an effective way to find a job in most any industry and any job market. Here are five simple steps to help anyone find a job through networking:

  • Research networking opportunities and choose the ones you participate in wisely. There are countless networking opportunities going on every day in most communities. If you are not aware of any, an Internet search of networking and your city’s name will yield some area results to get you started with your research. Chose networking events you wish to attend based on time and location convenience, cost, if any, to participate and who the networking event was created to serve. A networking event usually lasts at least an hour, so you will want to make sure that you chose the events you will attend wisely so your time is well spent.

  • Never leave home without a stack of business cards. When you attend networking events, people will inevitably ask you for your contact information so that they can keep in touch with you (and you will want to do the same). If you are job searching, you likely do not have a current business card. No worry – have some business cards made with your personal information. A high quality business card that at a minimum lists your name, city, state, telephone number and email address are a minimum. Keep it simple and professional with neutral colors and standard font and ink colors. If you plan in advance, you can find resources to print business cards for free (but shipping could take a week to ten days). You can also get cards print up within a day at a local office supply store (assuming it offers print and copy services).

  • When meeting someone for the first time, always find out their “story” and only offer yours if time permits. There is nothing worse than encountering someone at a networking event who immediately asks for something to benefit them. Quality networking is about building relationships. And there is a chance you will need to attend a networking event more than once to work toward building a relationship with a contact that will result in a job lead. The fastest way to build a relationship is to be open to meeting new people and to show genuine interest in what the other person has going on in their business and their life. Managing communication in this way creates a natural trading of information. That will result in much more quality relationships and ultimately quality job leads. If time does not permit you to share your “story” with a new connection. Be sure to obtain their business card for future follow-up.

  • Once you have offered at least one solution to someone else’s business or networking needs, ask if they might offer a solution for you too. Even though you may feel like you are the only person at a networking event that is in need of something. It’s important to remember that everyone in the room is at the event for the same general reason. To build relationships with people who will eventually help them make new connections. When you are talking to someone at a networking event. And you let them talk about themselves and their business first. They will inevitably tell you something that they need or that they are working on in their life or business. You may or may not have a perfect suggestion or a solution for them at this time. But you will be able to further the conversation by lending support or a suggestion. That they may want to consider to meet their needs. After you have made a sincere effort to offer a suggestion or a referral to the person you are speaking. Then it’s OK to segue your conversation and share information about your situation and indicate what would be very helpful for you to receive at this time. (job leads, resume or interviewing tips…).

  • Follow up with a personal note to everyone you have networked with each day. A personal note goes a long way. You will leave networking events with the business cards of those you connected with. And it is critical that you send a personal note in a day or two. To let your new contacts know that you enjoyed meeting them and that you look forward to connecting again soon. This shows that you are genuinely interest in the new connections. That you have made and it shows that you are a professional person. Who follows up on leads – which will serve you well in your journey to find a job.

Networking to find a job is not always the fastest path to employment, but it’s an effective. Quality activity that will serve you well in this competitive job market. At a time when employers are often inundate with applicants for one position. It is critical to try more high touch techniques to make connections in your desired industry. Networking is a way to accomplish this and more.