How to network your way to a new job

One of the biggest problems with finding a new job is getting noticed in the first place. If you only apply for jobs that you can find online, it can take even longer to get an interview. Since there are dozens or even hundreds of applicants for any online publication, you have a lot of competition.

However, when you have a large network it can be a lot easier to find a new job. Knowing someone inside out can let you know about jobs before they open, or make sure your resume is shown in front of the right person. With the right connections, you can find the job of your dreams much sooner.

Let’s look at a few different tips that you should use to improve your professional relationships and find a new job.

1. Look at your entire network

When you think about your professional network, you probably think mostly about former bosses, managers, or employees. While this is a great place to start, it is aren’t the only people you need to think about. Anyone you know – whether personally or professionally – can be someone you want to connect with.

Do you think of family members or friends of friends as people who might be able to help you with your job search? If not, don’t overlook them.

In addition to your extended network, you never know who they might want to introduce you to. With these additional connections, you can get to know some incredibly important people in companies that you would like to work for.

Think of people from previous jobs, friends or family, and colleagues from high school or college.

Additionally, connections you have on social media or with mutual friends can also be a great way to find a new job. Don’t rule out a relationship just because it didn’t come from a perfectly professional relationship.

2. Know what you are looking for

Once you have an idea of ​​the people you might be able to connect with, you need to know what to look for. When you end up reaching out to members of your network, you don’t want to just ask for a job. You need to know exactly what you qualify for, why you are a good fit, and how that person can help you achieve your goals.

Take a moment to consider what would be the best outcome for your connections. Whether you are looking for an internship or just an introduction to a hiring manager, knowing your expectations in advance can save you from awkward conversations. If you are clear about what you are looking for beforehand, you can also start thinking seriously about your career change.

You may have different needs depending on who you contact. If you want to get in touch with the CEO of a company, you may find it easier to request an interview.

However, if your link is further down the totem pole, then you will likely need to ask for something smaller, such as: B. after an introduction. Make sure your needs are appropriate based on the person on your network.

3. Consult your references

When using your network to get a new job, start where it makes most sense. Before reaching out to someone you know moderately, it is a good idea to connect with the people you already know well.

Your professional references are a good place to start.

Since your references have already agreed to let you know in case you are ever in need, they already know your skills well. They believe you are capable and want to help you succeed. This means they will be more motivated to help you find the job of your dreams when they are able. While they may not be able to directly help you find a new job, they may be able to introduce you to others who can.

Check with your references to let them know that you are looking for a new job. Let them know exactly what type of job you are looking for, what industry you want to be in and where the position you need is located.

You should also check that they are still ready to serve as a reference. So let them know that they may be contacted by a hiring manager.

4. Focus on the relationship behind the connection

When looking for a new job through your network, you usually can’t just call someone and ask them to hire you. If you ask too much right away, the person you contact may not be ready to help you.

Instead of acting like they owe you the help, focus on Build a solid relationship with them.

Most of the time, people like to help others. However, feeling like something is being passed to you can be a major shutdown. If you reach out to your network with a real question and respectfully ask for help or advice, they are more likely to help you.

You should consider the relationship you have with the person before contacting them. While it’s okay to connect with people you don’t know well, you may need to focus a little more on connecting before you seek professional assistance from them.

If you want to reach out to someone you’ve only met once or twice, a simple question or request for advice is the way to go.

On the other hand, someone you have known personally for many years may be willing to give out an email address or phone number of a hiring manager at their company.

5. Make your request specific

By this point, you should already know what to look for in your connection. As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to just ask for a job or for help finding a new job. After all, your network is probably pretty busy. They don’t have time to make the necessary connections for you.

Instead of simply letting your network know that you are looking for a new job, you want to ask them for specific advice.

Whether this is helpful when applying for a job or introducing an important person in their office, you want to show that you have done your homework and are ready to get to work.

The first time you contact a member of your network, make it clear what you are looking for. While you don’t have to jump straight into the conversation to let them know you are looking for help, don’t expect them to understand either.

When connecting with a network member, be clear and direct, yet authentic and considerate.

6. Stay connected

Do not make a habit of reaching and never following.

If the person doesn’t get back in touch right away, it could simply be because you intercepted them at a bad time or because they didn’t see your message. You might want to copy them off right away, assuming they aren’t ready to help, but you don’t want to end the conversation there.

Give them some time, then reach out again. Remember that the networking process can take some time.

If you expect your network to help you find a job right away, you will likely be disappointed. Instead, cultivate the relationship and do what you can to be courteous. Finally, ask her to take time out of her schedule to help you find a new job.

Whether or not that person can help you, you want to maintain the relationship. Don’t leave immediately if they say they don’t know what to do for you. Instead, thank them for their time and let them know that you are available if they ever need help from you. Also, ask them kindly if they would be willing to think of you in the future when they hear about something.

Using your network can be one of the best ways to get a new job. However, you can’t expect your network to do all of the work for you. While they might be able to help you get your foot in the door, they likely won’t turn around and just give you a job.

Keep these tips in mind when you need to contact your network for a new position. Always remember to ask for their help. So be kind and courteous – and don’t pretend they owe it to you.

p.s. With Resumonk you can create a nice résumé and cover letter in a few minutes. Stand out from the crowd and multiply your chances of getting your dream job.

Published by Sarah Landrum

Millennial career expert Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and founder of Punched Clocks, a career and lifestyle blog for millennials looking for career happiness and success.