READ TIME – 5 MINUTES
Networking is an essential part of the job search process, as nearly 80% of professionals consider it vital for career success. It not only provides valuable career advice but also helps to discover job opportunities not advertised elsewhere. Networking is all about establishing relationships with professionals who have similar interests as you. Such professional relationships often last longer than your job search process and offer support whenever required
The Benefits Of Career Networking
Networking is extremely advantageous for job seekers for various reasons. It can help you discover new job opportunities you may have been unaware of before. Many employers choose not to advertise their job vacancies on job boards, which has led to the creation of the “hidden job market”. According to Forbes, 80% of jobs are not advertised on job boards, making up this “hidden job market”. Networking can help you access this market and increase your chances of finding a job. Referrals account for 85% of all vacancies filled, highlighting the importance of networking.
Building a network of professionals can help you access job opportunities, career support, and guidance. Once you establish a network, you can seek their assistance on various aspects of your career, such as specific tasks, industry news, or career advice. When building your network, you can target people you think would benefit your career. For example, if you need career advice, you can network with recruitment consultants. And if you are stuck on a marketing task, you can connect with marketing professionals.
Networking can be very beneficial for developing self-confidence and improving your overall well-being. By engaging with new individuals, you can enhance your interpersonal skills which are highly sought after by employers. The more often you establish connections, the more effortless it will become.
How To Effectively Build A Professional Network
Networking has become much easier with the advancement of technology. LinkedIn, in particular, has become the ultimate tool for career networking. The best part is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home! To start networking, you must first decide on your desired outcome. Whether you want to find a new career or simply change jobs, you must know what you want to achieve. Once you’re clear on your goals, you can start building connections. For instance, if you’re looking for a new job in the sales industry, you should connect with sales recruiters and sales professionals.
In addition to LinkedIn, attending industry events and conferences can be brilliant for networking. Going and creating connections face-to-face can streamline the networking process. It’s much more rewarding to see your connections in person and you can often build a better relationship in less time! It’s easy to find industry events to attend – all you must do is have a look online. Look for industry speakers and seminars, charity events, career fairs, professional conferences and speed networking opportunities.
- Set Yourself A Goal – Networking isn’t for social purposes, it’s to achieve something. Therefore, it makes sense to set yourself a target. A good target could be the number of new people you want to talk to in a week or day.
- Target The Right Connections – To network effectively, you first must know what you want to do. If you’re considering changing industry then you would need to look for connections with people in that desired industry. By targeting the right audience you’ll have access to more specific information and have make more valuable connections.
- Provide Value To Your Connections – Networking should create mutually beneficial relationships in which both parties provide value. Therefore, you should share advice or interesting articles with relevant connections whenever possible.
- Keep In Touch With Your Network – It’s important to keep in contact with your network and not only when you require support or advice. Even if it’s just a brief message saying hello and asking how they’re doing, it’s always wise to stay in touch.
Begin Building A Brighter Future
Networking is an incredibly useful tool for job seekers, and hopefully, you now understand its significance. In a highly competitive job market, going the extra mile is necessary if you want to land the job.
Employers will appreciate the effort you put into creating a tailored CV, and this will increase your chances of being invited for an interview. Now that you realise the importance of networking, why not start today?
“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow” – Robert Kiyosaki.