How to Use Your Network to Find a Job

How to Use Your Network to Find a Job

In this day and age, the majority of jobs are found through networking. One LinkedIn study showed that 80% of all jobs were discovered because of networking. If you want to improve your chances of getting hired, you need to have a good network and know how to use it. With these tips, you can do just that.

Have the Right Mindset

Before you go into the job search, you need to have the proper mindset. No matter how badly you need a new job, you can't seem desperate. The people in your network won't help you if you beg them or sound too needy. When you speak to the people in your network, be confident and positive. You want them to speak well of you and to promote your skills.

This is one of the most difficult tips to follow. When you feel defeated and unemployable, you might struggle to have a positive mindset. Use self-affirmations to remind yourself of your skills. Additionally, make a list of all your assets and skills. You may be able to use some of the things on your list to sell yourself to your network.

Use Your Social Media Wisely

These days, most of your network is probably on social media. For this reason, it’s important to use your social media to market yourself in a professional manner. There’s no shame in mentioning that you’re looking for work, or that you’d like to connect with other professionals. Once again, don’t sound desperate. Simply post about your situation and see if anyone

Just as social media can help you find a job, it can keep you from finding an opportunity. If you have unprofessional photos or rants about your former employer on social media, someone in your network could see it. They might not extend an interview invitation or a job offer because of your posts. Take a few minutes to clean up your social media accounts or you might find it impossible to find a new position.

In addition to checking your social media accounts, you should also Google search your name. You could have old blog posts or social media accounts popping up. If you notice anything that seems unprofessional, delete it.

Start Close to Home

If you don’t already have a strong network, it’s time to begin building one. Fortunately, you don’t need to look far to find someone who can help. Start off by reaching out to friends and family members. Let them know that you’re looking for a job and explain the type of role that you’re seeking.

Another good starting point is former high school and college friends. There’s a good chance you have a few connections you haven’t reached out to in several years. If you send the person a message or make a quick phone call, you can work on rebuilding your old relationships. It might end with a job offer.

Think Outside-of-the-Box

You have a bigger network than you think. When you want to expand your network, consider all of the people you’ve ever encountered. They could be neighbors, community organization leaders, and colleagues. Anyone can refer you for a position, so don’t limit yourself. In fact, the more people you have in your network, the better your chances are.

Business opportunities aren’t always in the most obvious places. A neighbor could have a family member who started a new business, or a colleague may have branched out and started their own company. If you want job offers to come to you, let everyone know that you’re looking for work.

Categorize Your Contacts

As you make a list of your contacts, categorize them. Some of them will be active, which means you already have a relationship with them and you can count on them to help you find a job. Other contacts may be passive, which means you haven’t been in touch recently. For these contacts, you should reconnect and let them know you’re looking for a job. Ask if you can take them to lunch or coffee.

Finally, you may have some dormant contacts. These contacts require more effort and time before you reap rewards. To get results from dormant contacts, start slowly. Send them a message on social media or via email, and build the relationship. If you ask a dormant contact for a job right away, you risk ruining the relationship.

Visit Organizations

You can passively or actively use your network to find work. One of the best active ways of actively networking is to visit organizations in the industry you want to work in. After you update your resume, stop by the front desk of an organization and drop off your resume. Ask to meet with the HR director if possible.

Another option is to use your network to get an appointment at an organization of your choice. If you know a current employee of the organization, ask them to set you up with an appointment with someone from HR.

Make a Good Impression

After your initial work, you need to be ready to impress. If you go in to speak with someone from the company or have an interview, be prepared. Know the history of the company and be aware of the latest news. By doing research in advance, you show the hiring manager that you care about the position.

You can also offer to do a working interview. When you do a working interview, you have a chance to show off your skills. It can be much more revealing than a traditional interview and is a great way to receive an on-the-spot employment offer. During a working interview, remain professional and highlight your skills.

The hardest part of the job search can often be finding the right position. If you use your network appropriately, you can make the hunt easy and quick. After you find an opening, you can work on your resume, make a positive impression, and wait for the outcome.

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