If you’ve spent the past days, weeks, or months posting your resume online, answering ads, and sending out cold call letters, it might surprise you to know that the Number One way to land a new job is...
That’s right. Networking. Studies show that close to 50% of all jobs are landed through networking.
“But I don’t have a network!” you might complain.
You’re wrong. You do have a network. Everyone does. You just don’t realize it.
First of all, let’s look at what a network is: Networking simply means using people you know, or that know people you know, to find out about job opportunities or pass your resume on to someone who is in a position to help you in yourjob search.
Everybody knows people. Friends, relatives, co-workers (past and present), vendors, contractors, customers (past and present), even the people you meet out on a Friday or Saturday night. At least some of these people have the potential to help you in your job search.
So, how do you use this network? It all depends on the person. Co-workers, customers, and vendors can be approached formally or informally, depending on your relationship with the person and your particular situation. (Are you part of a company that’s going to be downsizing? Then you can be more obvious in your job search than if you’re looking to leave a company without telling anyone first.) Friends and family? Be direct. Let them know what types of jobs you’re interested in, and that they should let you know of any similar positions they hear about. Tell them to spread the word.
It’s not always practical to be carrying a copy of your resume around with you, but you never know when someone you meet is going to know of a position, or maybe even be looking to hire someone with your qualifications. So carry some ‘resume business cards’ with you at all time. These cards give your basic contact information and a summary of your skills and experience.
When done correctly, networking can be your most effective job search tool. Many skilled professionals have moved from position to position without ever having to answer any ads or post a resume online. Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t continue with the traditional job hunting methods—just don’t ignore the Number One way to land your next job!