Networking Tips for Career Growth and Hidden Jobs

Here’s a fact to get started: Employers love referrals and first look to tap their own workers for people they know that can fill open positions. It is cheaper and provides higher quality recruitment. By networking, you increase your chances of being personally referred and thus have your foot in the door.

Now, lets quickly cover the following questions:
1. Why Network With People?
2. Five Networking Tips To Get Started.
3. Quick Networking Hints.
4. Sources To Start Your Network.

1. WHY NETWORK WITH PEOPLE?
It’s true, some of the best jobs are never advertised. Many are filled by successful job seekers who networked with the right people and got the job before it was ever advertised. Its a fact that informal networking is a great method to gain more job leads and information about job opportunities that are not normally advertised. There is more to successful networkingthan just talking to your friends. To be a successful networker you must have as many contacts as possible hear your pitch andunderstand that you are in the job market. There are manystudies and surveys that clearly show that networking made thedifference for successful job seekers. Now that you understand the power of networking, here are some tipsand advice that will help you get started.


2. FIVE NETWORKING TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Tip #1 NETWORK ANYWHERE
That’s the beauty of this strategy. You can network in a mall, coffee shop, train station, church or wedding, etc. Converse and communicate your desires to 20 people at the next social get together?those 20 people know 20 more people and so on. You get the idea. To get a jump on things, easily start with people you already know such as family and friends. The size of this network may surprise you.

Tip #2 NETWORK FOR REFERRALS
Remember your goal: You want the people who you network with toeventually get your resume in front of the person doing the hiring.As you network you will meet many people at various companies. Ifyou find out that a job is open at one of these companies, you willdefinitely have an advantage by saying you know so and so or evenhaving that person “refer” you in. Companies prefer inside referrals when hiring.

Tip #3 DON’T BE SHY
You never know who could have the perfect untapped job lead. Formany people, there is an anxiety fear of just meeting new people and starting a conversation. Its really not that bad, if someonecame up to you and started small talk, how would you feel? You wouldn’t think any less of the person would you? People by nature are of a social nature. Don’t be shy as it could cost you the perfectopportunity. By just dropping your name to the right person you only increase your chances.

Tip #4 DON’T EXPECT LEADS/ RESULTS OVERNIGHT
If you are fresh to the job market, don’t expect to get a lead fromeveryone you talk to. It just doesn’t work that way and not thateasily. For some contacts, it’s important to build and nurture the relationship before asking about job leads. Don’t be too aggressive or pushy because that is a turnoff.

Tip #5 NETWORK FOR THE LONG RUN
Think of this as a long term career strategy. The contacts you make will only get stronger and the people you meet make now willmove into higher positions. Once you find a job, don’t let the network decay, it’s important that you meet that old contact forlunch once a month or play raquetball with that old co-worker. This network that you form now will be extremely helpful for many, many years to come.

3. QUICK NETWORKING HINTS
a. Make an impression quickly when you first meet someone and tryand get your story across before the conversation ends.
b. Don’t be aggressive and ask about job openings the first time you meet someone. Be subtle in your approach.
c. Try to get a business card, phone number, setup a future lunchdate, etc., Basically, some method of future contact or follow-up so that you can develop this further.

4. SOURCES TO START YOUR NETWORK
a. College alumni association
b. Churches, parties, weddings, almost any social gathering
c. Your family (uncles, cousins, distant family)
d. Former co-workers (as they migrate into other companies)
e. Your professors, career counselors, faculty and advisors
f. Your own friends and your friends’ parents or key contacts

So now you have the fundamentals, start networking! Make newcontacts, find more job leads, and make some great friends along the way.

About the Author: Nathan Newberger is career advisor and his articles have helped thousands of job seekers.

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