Smart networking is the key to success in a hyperconnected world. If you are a networking maven and on a keen lookout for jobs, then look beyond social media and apps to leverage on your networks to find out hidden opportunities perhaps not advertised on job platforms and find your way through the competition.
According to survey findings based on joint research conducted with LinkedIn in 2016, revealed that networking trumps over applying directly for a job by a factor of 3:1. Job seekers should realize that it’s not about who you know, it’s about how well-connected they are to vouch for your ability and willingness to connect you to potential job opportunities wherein your skills can excel. Some estimates reveal 85 percent jobs are filled via networking route.
So, how do you use smart networking to accelerate your job search?
Networking is not just about building upon business relationships and maintaining continuous contacts with who’s who of the industry, it’s about evaluating approaches you need to use to leverage on the contacts made and turn them into potential opportunities for growth. You need to increase your visibility in the business circles to exchange cards with people across different domains in an informal setting as well.
Here are quick hacks to leverage your networks and find a job:
- Target effectively
Social networks such as LinkedIn help to reach out and connect with people across industries. Now just adding these contacts to your LinkedIn profile is not networking. You need to constantly tend the network by upgrading your skills, via chats or emails, attend industry events or share interesting articles you have discovered, to get the conversation started.
- Find mentors
When you network with senior business leaders and industry experts, ask and learn from their experiences. If they are discussing a subject at length in perhaps on a LinkedIn blog post, offer your opinion, reach out and ask for guidance on subjects of their expertise.
- Look for referrals
Look for senior leaders in the industry who can offer you good referrals for work done or services offered in past. You can also seek positive referrals from clients.
- Network with genuinity of purpose
Networking should not make you feel uncomfortable, as though throwing yourself out there to make forceful conversations with ulterior business motives. Genuine honest conversations help build strong relationships.
- Networking is not just for extroverts
It’s believed that introverts are not good at networking, which is not always true. Some preparation time and practice should help them overcome their fears and present themselves more confidently. In fact, introverts can be great conversationalists, because they are silent listeners with strong communication skills.
- Take it slow, do not rush and elbow your way
Networking takes time to establish trust and build rapport with clients, customers and the industry at large. So do not try to hasten the process, invest into nurturing connections on a regular basis by sharing industry news, updates, articles, reports and seek opinions. Join forums and network at industry events to learn, seek and understand subjects from experts and leaders.
Going down the funnel of smart networking channels is the only way to access “less known” jobs, create undisputable space for your personal brand in the competitive business space and bypass the frustrating process of chasing after job openings. Activating your connections is the first step to hack into a successful career growth strategy.