In a recent interview, Scott Uhrig at Agile.Careers explained that “Roughly 80% of jobs are never posted–probably closer to 90% for more senior jobs. The competition for posted jobs is insane…the best jobs are almost never posted.” If a job isn’t posted, you’re going to have a pretty hard time applying for it online. So how do you get to the jobs that aren’t ever posted? The answer is simple: networking.
Recent studies done by LinkedIn show that nearly 85% of people have used networking to find or obtain a job. If jobs aren’t posted online, you’ll need to leverage your connections to get inside knowledge about positions pertaining to your career. This task sounds daunting, but if you take initiative, it’s a fairly simple process.
Surround yourself with industry professionals whom you enjoy
While you might find friends at work, that isn’t always the case, so it’s important to put yourself in situations where you can meet others and build new friendships (or at the very least, make new connections).
Attending networking events in your field of work is a great way to meet people in your field and gather inside knowledge on potential jobs. While you may not be connecting with the people at your office, industry events give you the opportunity to find others in your field who you mesh with. If you enjoy what you do, finding others who enjoy it as well will hugely benefit you.
No idea how to find networking events in your area? Check out the links below to figure out what’s right for you!
- Create + Cultivate (we host local pop up events on top of our conferences!)
- Six Degrees Society
- Career Contessa
- Levo League
Often networking organizations have local chapters so you get to know people in your area. This is a bonus if you’ve recently made or plan to make a big move and are trying to meet new people!
Join a professional organization
This doesn’t just mean attending networking events. Joining a professional organization that is specific to your line of work gives you access to networking events, industry insights, job opportunities, and gives you up to date information about the job market. As an added bonus, professional affiliations look great on your resume! Finding an organization might take a bit of research, but almost every industry has an organization which has huge benefits for members.
Here are a few examples:
- PIHRA- Professionals In Human Resources Association
- National Student Nurses Association
- Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches
- American Marketing Association
There are associations and memberships for almost every profession you can think of. It might take a little digging, but just utilize your google search skills and you’ll easily find something that works for your needs. If you do become a member/affiliate, make sure you take advantage of all the perks. Join online or in person groups, connect with others in your industry, and sign up for newsletters so you can get the latest industry information.
Ask for an introduction
This can seem awkward if you’re not used to it, but asking someone for an introduction to a mutual connection or friend can benefit you greatly. Browse LinkedIn for people who work at a company you’re interested in or hold a position that you’d like to gather more information about and see if you have any mutual friends. I recently had a friend ask for an introduction on LinkedIn, which led to a great conversation about a potential job opportunity. Recent studies show that as humans, our first impulse is to help others, so introducing two connections with the goal of helping one party will likely pan out well.
More specifically, people often are more likely to help those that they have a connection with, so acknowledging a mutual friend or acquaintance will help with that as well. There’s a reason that the saying “squeaky wheel gets the oil” is so common. Asking for an introduction may force you out of your comfort zone, but the worst thing that can happen is that someone will say “no.” In the long run, the benefits of asking for an introduction far outweigh the potential downside.
Networking is has always been important, but as the online job search becomes more and more daunting, networking is more crucial than ever before. This simple skill is something that will help you further develop your career, make new connections, and potentially land you the job of your dreams. If you’re not currently networking to help with your job search, use these three tactics to help you get in the game and improve your networking skills for the better.
A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.
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