Job seekers today have more tools available to them as they search for new employment. They can scan general and specialized online job sites. They can send messages to their contacts through social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. They send out short updates on their Twitter accounts. But each of these tools pale in comparison to finely tuned networking skills.
If you’re wondering how to get a job today, turn to your own networking skills. If you’re not reaching out to former bosses, past co-workers, friendly former college professors, or even your family members and friends, you’re not doing all that you can to conduct the best job search.
Beating the Job Search Odds
The odds of you finding a job in your newspaper’s “Help Wanted” section or online at one of the big job boards are slim. It’s all a numbers game. If you find a job listing that you like, just consider how many other qualified candidates feel the same way. All of these candidates will send in their own applications. This leaves you struggling to get noticed by the hiring managers or company officials reviewing the responses to their job listings.
A better tactic, and one of the most important job search strategies that you can master, involves finding those hidden jobs, the ones that never are advertised in “Help Wanted” sections or even on the best job search websites.
The way to find these jobs? You have to network. And you have to do it often.
Networking Skills Remain Vital
The key to networking is to let everyone you know that you are seeking a job change. People can’t recommend you to their own bosses or clue you in on a job opening two towns over if they don’t know that you are actively looking for work.
But if they do know that you’re on the market? Then they just might tell you that their colleague is thinking of retiring, leaving a spot at their company open for you.
When you send in a resume to a hiring manager that hasn’t even advertised for a company job opening yet, you gain a key advantage. If you’re qualified for the position and if you have the right experience, you can bet that you’ll have dramatically increased your chances of nabbing a job interview.
Hidden Job Market
To gain access to the country’s hidden job market, brush up on your networking skills. Doing this mostly requires practice. When you run into your neighbor on your way to the car, wave her over and tell her that you’re looking for a new job. Tell her you’d appreciate any leads she might have. Call up a former boss and make an appointment for a lunch – on you – and tell him that you’re in the market for a new position. Has he heard of any openings that might interest you?
For some, networking never does come naturally. But with practice and a constant devotion to improving those networking skills, you might be out of the job-hunting market faster than you can imagine.
If you need help on your networking skills, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. We can provide you with the tips you need to excel at this important skill.