The Importance of Networking
The key to making the job search less painful
Having good contacts is crucial nowadays with the amount of people looking for work. Education and experience sometimes prove themselves to not be enough to land the desired position. Networking is a great way to increase your chances of finding a job and it doesn’t take much effort either!
Why is it important to network?
To have more chances of getting the job you want
This is true for a several reasons. First of all, it is always easier to work with someone you know and trust. On the interview, employers have to find out the person’s qualities and if they would fit in the organization and when they already know you, it’s much easier to fit in their perspective.
A benefit for businesses is that hiring familiar persons saves them a lot of cost for outreaching and posting job ads. It also ensures a faster and less complicated employment process and saves time for managers to go through applications.
To grow professionally
Creating a network of contacts, will not only make getting a job in the future easier, but also helps us grow professionally. When you are in contact with people that are experts in their area and have experience, it is a way to develop yourself by only communicating with them.
How to expand your network?
Before you begin, you need to have your clear objectives. What are you looking for? A new job? Having opportunities in the future? Once your goal is clear, it will be easier to see what ways of establishing contacts are best for you.
A two good ways to network would be by attending various events and working on your social media presence.
There are several types of events that you can go to to expand your network of contacts. Examples include job fairs, seminars, conferences and presentations on a topic you’re interested in. Whatever you do, don’t attend lessons or courses about something that you’re not passionate about, just for the sake of networking.
In such events it is important to make a good first impression since you don’t know if you will have the opportunity to meet these people again. You should dress appropriately for the event and have a positive attitude.
Employers are looking for people with whom it is easy to work and interact. Remember, there may be many people with your skills, but not your personality. Try to earn points in your favor by giving a good first impression.
It is important to not only make acquaintances, but also manage to find people who have positions of decision-making. Before attending an event take a look at the guest list and find out who you would want to approach. Of course, do your research on their companies and work so it would be easier for you to start a conversation.
It is essential to have an updated LinkedIn profile, since many employers are focused on this network when looking to recruit new employees. Before applying to a company on LinkedIn, it is a good idea to see if you have some connections in common, so it would be possible to get some insight on the company culture and what they are actually looking for.
It is important to remember that having a big number of contacts can give a good impression to the employer, but it will be much more useful to connect and interact with them. One way to do this is by sharing articles about your industry that you find interesting and express your passion about it to your contacts.
Also engage in conversations or discussions if the topic is interesting for you. Being active on social networks is more beneficial than holding a profile that you have never used.
One thing you should remember that LinkedIn is not Facebook, so all content has to be professional. Don’t ever share your selfies or any personal experiences that you don’t want your employers to see. Follow the simple rule that on social media, you should never put anything that you wouldn’t want in your CV.
Although Facebook is a platform for sharing your personal activities and life events with your friends, have in mind that your profile may also lay in front of the eyes of your prospective employer.
Do not over-share or share anything that is too exposing and may be considered embarrassing in the wrong hands. Also never comment on your job, boss or colleagues on Facebook. For one, badmouthing is not ethical and also it would be very inappropriate to put it on social media.
The same rules apply if you have a personal blog or a website. Don’t forget that everything that contains your name in it can easily be found through a search engine and this a practice for many employers that do background checks on their applicants.