One of the most powerful tools that you can use when looking for a job is networking. Networking is interacting with other people to exchange information. One of the primary purposes for that is to identify job leads. The more people that know you are looking for a job, the better your chances are to find out about opportunities. I’ve been able to get at least two jobs directly due to networking.
When you are networking with people, you have to make sure that you have a quick elevator speech about yourself. Your elevator speech should include your name, your job, your current situation and opportunities that you are looking for. Networking during your job search is critical when you are looking for a new gig.
Here are a few people that you can network with:
Friends & Family
Don’t be afraid to let your friends & family know that you are looking for a job. Pride will allow you to continue to be jobless. That’s not what you want. Tell them your situation. They may be able to get you an interview or even get you hired places. When I was unemployed three years ago, I let people know that I was looking for a new gig. A couple of friends were able to get me interviews with their perspective companies.
If you still keep in contact with some of your old co-workers, contact them. Their current job may be hiring.
Barber or Hairdresser
Good barbers or hairdressers have a lot of clients. Their customers may come from all walks of life. They can reach out to them and see if they know anyone that’s hiring.
Church members are good people to network with as well. Some of them may have their own businesses, while others may be managers or supervisors.
Career Counselors at school
If you are still in college, you can contact your career counselors. They should be able to have several leads for you depending on what your major is. That’s their job. Check with them a couple of times per year to see what opportunities that they may know of.
Above were people you can network with. It doesn’t stop there. You can also network at different places. Below are a few of them:
The first place that you can network at is your job. If your company is big and has several departments, you should take the time to meet people in those departments. They may be able to let you know about opportunities as they arise.
A lot of influential and successful people attend worship. Besides worship service, other events happen in the Church such as Bible study and committee meetings.
Believe it or not, you can network on the internet. Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn has allowed this happen. On both of these sites, you can make groups. I’m in a couple of groups that helps people look for employment opportunities. If you have a certain degree or if you’re in a fraternity or sorority, you should find a few groups out there for you.
Before people have one too many, mingle with the guests at these events. Have some business cards ready to pass out. Make sure that you get a few from the attendees as well.
The final place to network with someone is during volunteer activities. You never know who you could meet out there. Be ready to introduce yourself and talk with people if need be.
After you make your contacts keep them informed about your job search status. Make sure you answer e-mails and phone calls in a timely manner. Be ready to help others when they are looking for a job. Also, send thank you notes to show you appreciate their time and efforts.
These are just a few tips to help you with your networking during your job search.