“Can’t someone help me get a job?” How many times have you asked that question as your efforts to find employment have stretched on for months?
The good news is that other people actually can help you find a new job. You just have to practice the important art of networking.
At its most basic, networking means contacting the important people you know – most often former bosses, past work colleagues, former college professors, and any local business leaders – and relying on their influence to gain an edge in finding a job.
And today, with competition for open positions so fierce, networking is the best way to find employment.
The Networking Advantage
Here’s how networking works: You might schedule a meeting with one of your former bosses. During this meeting, your former boss might mention that a friend of his is opening a new business. Your former boss might be willing to introduce you personally to this entrepreneur, giving you an edge in your efforts to seek work at this new company.
Or maybe you call a past co-worker who tells you that the worker in the cubicle next door is moving across country, leaving an open position at her company. You might be able to apply for this position before the company advertises the job opening, again giving yourself a key advantage.
And it’s not only former co-workers and bosses who can help you in your efforts to land a new job. Your friends and family members, even your neighbors, might know of job openings you haven’t yet heard of. Or maybe your neighbor is related to the hiring manager of a major company.
The Connections that Matter
These are the connections that matter today. You still need the skills and experience necessary to attract the attention of hiring managers. But it helps, too, to have some sort of personal connection that you can rely on to separate yourself from the hundreds of other applicants seeking the same position.
And networking today is easier than ever thanks to the rise of social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Be sure to connect to former co-workers, bosses, and other business associates through these sites. They give you the chance to communicate with all of your important business connections at one time.
If you need more advice on the answer to the “Can’t someone help me get a job?” question, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp today. Our career counselors will help you make the connections you need to find work this year.