The surest way to find a job in these difficult economic times is to network with professionals in your field. The relationships that you develop with your peers can bear fruit in the form of job leads and interviews. But networking isn’t just finding an industry peer and saying, “Help me find a job.”
Networking to Find the Hidden Jobs
If you want your peers to recommend you to a hiring manager or give you a lead on a job opportunity that hasn’t yet hit the online job boards, you have to give them a reason why they should give your job search a boost. After all, when people recommend you to their superiors or work to secure you a job interview, they are putting their own reputations on the line. If you perform poorly during a job interview, or present yourself in a less than professional manner, you are hurting their reputation.
If you want to convince your fellow industry professionals to help you land your next job, you must first prove to them that you won’t embarrass them.
Provide Your Qualifications
First, when talking to your peers about your job search, make sure to explain to them exactly why you’d be a good fit for any openings at their companies. Briefly provide them with a synopsis of your experience, being sure to include any notable accomplishments.
Secondly, provide them with a printed resume. This will give your networking contacts something tangible to show the hiring managers and executives at their own firms. Make sure that your resume is tailored to the particular job for which your peers are recommending you.
The Power of Professionalism
Finally, when you do show up for a job interview or apply for a lead in the hidden job market of unlisted opportunities, do so in the most professional manner possible. Don’t assume that you don’t have to give your best effort simply because a peer at the company recommended you. Your advantage ends once the interview begins. And if you come off as unprepared, you can bet that your networking contact at this company won’t recommend you for any future positions.
It’s OK to ask your industry peers, especially those with whom you’ve already built a relationship, “Help me find a job.” Just make sure that you back up this request by giving your peers a reason to recommend you for jobs in confidence.
If you need more advice on how to brush up on your networking skills, consider signing up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our employment experts can tell you how to secure those job leads and interviews through networking.