Networking tips
How to find a job by using your contacts

networking tips

Use these networking tips to professionally find out about and land those jobs which are never advertised.

The process of finding work through your contacts is called networking.

To highlight the importance of networking as a job search strategy, consider how many written applications might usually be received for a single advertised position.

Estimates vary about how many applications employers will get from an ad, and it probably depends on the type of job.

But.....it's safe to say most job ads would result in several hundred resumes being sent to the employer for consideration.

An article I read somewhere puts the numbers somewhere around 1500-2000 applications per advertised job.

And.....there will be just one person's resume out of all these that will result in a job offer.

Therefore, your chances of getting a job by responding to a job ad could be somewhere in the vicinity of 1500-2000 to one. You probably wouldn't be betting your house on having a successful application at those sorts of odds!

In the same article it was suggested that the odds of getting a job through the process of job networking were about one in 12.

How successful is networking in job search?

Some colleagues of mine told me about an experiment..... how many networking contacts does it take to get a job?

The experiment found that it takes 3.6 networking contacts to get a job offer.

This puts the importance of networking as a part of your overall job search strategy into its proper perspective - you just have to have a strategy for job search networking.

Networking tips
What job search networking IS

In my experience there is a right and a wrong way in which people go about networking.

I think this is partially because people misunderstand what networking means, and what the process of job networking actually involves.

So what is job search networking when it is used to find a job or making a career change?:

  • It's a referral based process - this means you start with people you know, and these existing contacts will in turn refer you to people in their network.
  • Therefore you should never make assumptions about what people know, or who your contacts might know.
  • It involves information interviews - the reason you're meeting with people is to gain access to their information and advice.
  • You're taking advantage of the fact that the people you know have contacts with people that you don't know, who may be in a position to help you in your job search.
  • It's a process which involves asking people for things which they can freely give - that is, information and their advice and guidance.
  • The information that you gain typically moves from being general in nature to quite specific with successive contacts.
  • It's a process which can ultimately put you in touch with decision makers - that is, the people who do the hiring.
  • It's a process that works best when you meet with people face to face rather than over the phone, or through email etc.

Networking tips - What job search networking ISN'T

  • Asking friends, colleagues or acquaintances for a job, or to assist you to change your career.
  • Attending conferences, seminars, workshops, professional association meetings etc in the hope starting conversations with people where you get to ask questions like "I'm looking to change my career, or I'm looking for work at present - do you know of any openings?" Or, "Is there any work going at present in your organisation?"

The secret to career networking success

Is based on these things:

  • How you position yourself - essentially you must present yourself to others as a professional who is currently exploring career options, and is seeking advice or guidance about options from "people in the know".
  • You must not present to others as someone who is seeking assistance to find work. These requests usually make those you ask feel uncomfortable. Often they're genuinely not able to assist you. You'll
  • probably get a "Sorry, can't help you, but we'll keep you in mind."

This link explains why job networking works best when you meet people face to face.

Simply explained, you can be too easily ignored or re-redirected when you try to network with people by email or phone.

Ready to get started on career networking?

The following links to these networking tips will help you learn, step by step, the strategies for going to your next career move via the hidden job market:

New! Comments

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Related Links

Job search networking - How to get started with your networking strategy
Job networking - How to set up meeting and interviews
How to network - with people you don't know. Learn about the benefits of referral networking