In the current climate, a world that is a post-global-economic-crash environment, and a place where talk of double and triple-dip recessions just trips off the tongue, finding a new job is not an easy task. External job postings are rarer than they used to be and every job seems to be contested by a hundred other qualified candidates. In this world, whilst you might be perfectly qualified, indeed often over qualified, for a position, it is often not necessarily what you know that counts, but who you know. Employers much prefer to know who they’re taking on, and if you’re going to find that dream job, it’s your responsibility to get yourself known to the employers, or at least the people who do the referring. In this world, networking is king.
But where do you find the important people? Here are a few tips to improving your networking technique:
Join a club
You don’t have to head to a conference to meet and mingle, just pick a new activity where you stand a chance of meeting important professionals in their down time. People in a relaxed social setting are usually much more receptive to conversation, so while you’re having fun, why not ask questions and build new relationships.
They may be boring but make sure you put your hand up for that next industry jaunt. And when you’re there, make sure you don’t just hide in your hotel room and socialize with the people you already know. Whilst most conferences have built in networking time, make sure you also springboard into the after hours activities such as dinner. As mentioned above, people are much more open when they’re relaxed. Take the opportunity to make relationships where you can.
Find a cause you are passionate about and get involved with the volunteering and campaigning. Anywhere you can spare a few hours with local people in the area will be great. The people you meet (potential future employers) will also be passionate about the cause and will get a chance to build relationships with you and see how you work. Who knows, you may even find work opportunities in the field of the cause you are campaigning for!
This new online professional-networking tool is an essential in the modern world. Connect with the people you already know in your professional arena, and then have a search through their connections, to see if there is anyone would like an introduction to. You can also join groups relevant to your profession and meet important movers and shakers that way. An easy way to make an impression and get people to see your profile is to ‘like’ other people’s posts and comments. Make sure your profile is up to date, giving a full career history and including a professional photo, as this is the first thing everyone will see of you.
This is just a small selection of networking tips. More suggestions can be found in an Forbes Online article about the topic.