Question for my blog readers. If you want to find your target job do you network for it or do you send in resumes to job boards? Both answers are correct! However, you must know one has a substantial advantage over the over. Give or take around 20% of jobs are landed online and 80%+ are landed through networking. Does networking mean I contact all my friends and let them know I’m searching for the job? No not really. Networking means lots of different contact pools including this small list:
- Attending alumni club events and reunions. If you don’t have one, start one. Many universities have alumni databases. Start by focusing on your class, then broaden your list.
- Talk to parents at your child’s basketball game or soon to be soccer games.
- Volunteer for a local charity function; opportunities are abundant.
- Have a dinner party or wine & cheese party and invite current and new friends and neighbors you want to meet.
- College or graduate school professors. Yes, they may know of opportunities.
- People from prior jobs including clients, vendors, competitors, bosses and team members.
- Corporate alumni groups: painless way to reconnect.
- Create your own job search network. Meet weekly at Starbucks and add a friend each week.
- Let’s not forget local networking events; you could attend one nightly. Yes, they do work!
So you say networking is very uncomfortable for you. There are a couple options, have a sip (yes sip) of wine when you attend the event or bring a friend. If these two options don’t work for you volunteer for a charity fun run. If you have a certain field you are targeting volunteer for a charity within that field. For example Bank of America is sponsoring Chicago’s fun Shamrock Shuffle Sunday, April 10, 2011. You can always find a volunteer networking opportunity with Volunteer Match http://www.volunteermatch.org/ To be effective at networking all you need is a business card and a smile on your face. Business cards are inexpensive $20 on vista.com and a smile is free. Be ready to say hello and ask people about themselves. Small talk can start with your name, what town they live in or area in the city, what business/profession they are in, and of course there is always the Chicago weather!
Networking is the most important activity you need to master in order to be a truly successful job seeker.
I guess I can sum it up. You are going to get hired by either a friend, or a friend of a friend!
Reply with your networking ideas.