One of the rules of finding a job is networking. But for many people, it sometimes seems awkward to talk to acquaintances about where to search for jobs – especially early in the job search. At first, you may not know which friends to speak with and how to best utilize them. However, there may be other ways to better focus your networking; joining some organizations and associations might be the answer for your concerns.
Go to Chamber of Commerce Meetings
An opportunity for networking is your local chamber of commerce. While the chamber contains a number of people across multiple industries, you can use this time to meet people in your field. Chambers have numerous networking events throughout the year – from breakfast meetings to dinnertime meet-and-greets.
Participating in chamber functions also improves your profile. Most chambers also have job postings and job search services; if you have been networking in the chamber, you may find that you have met an employee or executive affiliated with a job that you are interested in.
Check Your Alumni Organization
Many alumni associations frequently have networking functions to allow former students and graduates to make important connections. Alumni gatherings are ideal places to find other professionals in your chosen field or a field that you would like to be in. Talking to fellow grads is a little easier than a cold conversation – you already have something in common. Also, many people expect to do some networking at these meetings so the atmosphere is already ripe for these types of interactions.
Many associations also have websites where you can search for fellow classmates and make contacts there even if there are no meetings being held.
Join a Trade Association
Trade associations act as a hub for industry news, resources, and potential contacts. Almost all industries have some type of professional or trade association; it is important to join one so you can keep up with trends and opportunities in your field. You can also network with other people in your field to learn about hidden job openings; often you have a chance to meet hiring managers or corporation executives who may also be able to direct you in your job search. Most associations also have a “members only” job listing section.
Other ways to utilize the association may indirectly aid in your job search; you can participate in the association’s professional development courses, attend conferences, and become active in meetings or publications. All of these activities increase your visibility and may help someone to remember you when a job comes up.
While you are trying to find a job, you should utilize as many networking opportunities as you can. Joining these organizations gives you ample opportunities to introduce yourself to potential employers or people who can link you to an opportunity. Getting better at networking can improve your odds of finding the job you want.
For more tips on networking and how best to achieve it, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp today.