If published statistics are accurate, employment agencies and search firms fill about 22% of all jobs in the U.S. Job boards fill anywhere between 2% and 8%. So how do the others get filled?
Networking consistently fills more jobs than any other method. Yet people often don’t know how to network well, act only in crisis (I need a job now!). Networking when you don’t need a job will help you cultivate relationships that will help you find work.
The statistics are that 70% of jobs are filled as a result of networking and 70% of the 70% (49%) are filled as a result of people you meet who your network knows and you don’t.
Are you investing your time properly or chasing job board ads and recruiters?
Here’s what to do to be effective networking:
1. Develop a quick oral description that segues to a phone call. I hate elevator pitches and don’t know anyone who reacts to the old fashioned pitch well. Their time passed a decade ago. Being a human being and simply introducing yourself as a human being to another as what you do, coupled with a transition to a call works beautifully no matter where you are on the food chain.
2. Participate in trade groups. The “mega-functions” are harder to feel like you were successful in than smaller ones because you may feel like you missed so many opportunities. The more targeted the group, often the better. The more targeted you are, the better. Get involved. Join committees. Let people get to know you through your contributions. Ask for support.
3. Cultivate your network of relationships. Tap into your existing relationships — friends, family, former colleagues, people you know. Just let them know you’re looking for work and ask them if they might know someone in your field who might be able to give you advice. Ask each person you are referred to for at least three referrals. Create a snowball effect.
4. Help others. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Give more, get more.” Help others and things will come back to you. Contribute to others and their successful search. This can also occur when you genuinely listen to others and their professional needs and offer assistance. There is advice that you will receive by supporting others, ideas that will emerge from helping others work through their problems and opportunities that will be afforded to you through listening.
5. Focus on creating a great impression and asking for support. If all you do is ask for a job, a lot of doors will be slammed in your face. If you focus on creating a great impression, rest assured that when you are in front of someone who needs you, they will be smart enough to see the fit.
6. Cultivate your relationships. Like dating and good marriages, relationships take time to develop and blossom. Don’t expect instant results. Send thank you notes (online greeting card sites will help you keep the cost low or free), a quick e-mail or a periodic phone call to stay in contact.
7. Follow through. Act on all the leads you receive. If you promise to do something, do it when you say you will do it. Imagine what it is like for the other person who is trying to help you, who may have even alerted the other person to a phone call and then not have it acted upon.
8. Don’t act desperate! No one likes a desperate person when dating or hiring. It feels like something is wrong and you now have a stalker on your hands. You may be desperate but it doesn’t mean acting desperate is a good strategy. It isn’t.
9. Network when you don’t NEED to. If you only network when you need something, you will never get results. Its one of the many reasons people hate third party recruiters. They only hear from them when they want something, right? And you only reach out to your network when . . . ?
Make an investment of one call or “touch” per day. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Stay in touch
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2017
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.
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