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“It is not who you know, it’s who knows you” Jarod Kintz
The quote above clearly sums up the essence and intent of networking. This simply means, it’s not about adding more and more people to your network, but being connected to those with whom you can establish and maintain mutually fruitful relations – be it personal or professional
While your skills, experience and qualification do play a major role in getting you hired, you cannot neglect the significance of professional networking in today’s job market. In fact, it is equally important or maybe more!
Finding this hard to believe? Let’s take a look at what a recent LinkedIn survey has revealed, that nearly 85% of all job openings were filled through networking. Yes, it is that important!
At this point, it is also crucial to understand that the problem with most job hunters is not their disregard for the importance of networking. Rather, the issue lies in the execution. Simply put, their approach of creating and expanding their professional networks in the wrong way, is the culprit. This eventually renders all their efforts for making full use of their network for their job search in vain.
Again, what needs to be remembered here is that networking is less about the numbers and more about focusing on the relationships you are building. Networking can be done in a variety of ways like meeting people either in person or online. So choosing which way works best for you is the key. Nevertheless, you should not miss any chance of taking advantage of both these approaches whenever possible.
A reserved person is less likely to interact with other people the same way as an outgoing individual even at a professional level. Thus, the former should never adopt the networking style of the latter. Also, while approaching people, it is really important to remain confident and comfortable, so that you always begin on the right note
Try establishing connections with hiring mangers and recruiters by commenting, retweeting and liking their posts. After 2-3 interactions, you can approach them and begin creating a rapport while letting them know that you are interested in working with them in a roundabout way. Later, when you feel the time is right, take them to your LinkedIn page
Thereafter, reach out to professionals working at these organizations and connect with them. Never send a resume in the first interaction but do keep exploring to see if the organization and job openings are suitable to you or not.
Regardless of your time in your current company, your co-workers can assist you to grow in your present role and offer lessons that may smooth the path to your next role. At times, you may also get to know about job opportunities that aren’t yet posted anywhere, before they go up.
Once added to your LinkedIn network, try approaching them from time to time by commenting and liking their posts and sharing valuable career-related information, or just to see if they are doing well
Most trade organizations conduct conferences and seminars at local and regional levels which again could serve as another wonderful way of growing your professional network.
Moreover, if you happen to be a guest speaker at these scaled-down versions of large conferences, you can definitely reap huge benefits as this will present you as an expert in front of local employers and peers. Chances are that you will later find them approaching you to connect.
Building connections with professionals associated with your college offers a solid platform to share experiences that certainly makes for a strong connection. Your former professors, batchmates or someone from the college placement cell can help you develop these connections.
Networking with other job hunters here can help you share career advice and the best job opportunities available in the job market. A job search coach or recruiter might help you find one.
Contact Previous Colleagues, Clients and Vendors: Often when we switch jobs and employers, we gradually lose connections with our former colleagues as well as clients or vendors.
Although you may not realize it, making good use of your skills and expertise can surely help you grow as a professional. And, there might be people volunteering with you, who can recommend you for your preferred job too!
Sadly, this networking opportunity is mostly overlooked by job seekers since they tend to me more interested in exploring direct industry contacts. So start today and find an organization that needs your helping hand.
Regardless of whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced industry professional, networking is important for you. It becomes even more crucial if you consider the current hiring trends.
Networking develops your skills, adds to your knowledge base, and evolves you as a professional. While networking, you should bear in mind that simply adding more and more contacts to your network is not going to help you very much.
Rather, adding genuine people to your network, building mutually fruitful relationships with them and maintaining those relations by keeping in touch with them regularly can benefit you in several ways – be it about career development or landing your dream job.