You’re not looking for a job. You’re looking for a career. Because of this, you want to conduct a professional job search, one that boosts your odds of finding employment that doesn’t just pay the bills but also fulfills your career goals. The best way to do this? You need to learn how to job search.
You might think that you already know how to search for jobs. You scan the employment websites every day. You send out resumes to the companies that most interest you. You even attend career and job fairs in your area.
These are all important steps. But when you hope to make a professional job change, you must add a new element to your job search. You must make networking a key part of it.
Why Networking Matters
You might not enjoy networking with your business contacts. You might find it awkward or embarrassing. But the truth is networking remains your best chance of making a professional job change today.
Consider the number of resumes companies receive for every job opening they post online or in print. Many receive hundreds of applications from candidates who are every bit as qualified as you are. What are the odds that hiring managers will even look at your resume?
If you want to make a professional job change today, you need to crack the hidden job market. And the only way to do this is to network.
The Hidden Job Market
Those jobs in the hidden job market are the ones that never make it to the online job boards or newspaper classifieds sections. They are the ones that get filled when one executive recommends a job seeker to another. They are the ones that get filled when a manager reaches out to a candidate that he or she knows is uniquely qualified to fill a position.
So how do you get considered for the hidden job market? You network.
Schedule a meeting with a former boss who appreciated your talents and hard work. Tell this boss that you’re looking to make a job change – that you want to boost your career. This boss might know of a colleague at another firm who is hiring. Maybe this boss will be willing to introduce you to this colleague. And if you’re lucky, your boss will do this before the job listing is ever advertised, boosting your chances of landing the position.
Start Networking Now
If your job search efforts have yielded little so far, make sure to start your networking efforts today. Call a former boss. Send an e-mail message to the people with whom you’ve worked in the past. Write a letter to a former college professor. You never know who these people might know, and whether they’ll help you land a position in the hidden job market.
If you need more advice on how to job search, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp today.