Job searching in today's hiring climate no longer relies exclusively on the strength of a resume. In many industries, networking is quickly becoming a vital part of the hiring process, as some jobs are never advertised in official listings, but experts now say that the process shouldn't end just because you find a job.
According to the Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn has revolutionized the hiring process by automating many of the tasks that would otherwise require face-to-face conversation, but there's a certain knack to the process that can't be overlooked. Engaging with others on as personal a level as possible needs to be a new goal for any worker hunting down a new job, and that process can often involve people outside of your personal network. Working with a staffing agency can also provide assistance in this manner, allowing you to develop a wider network that can give you more ready access for career advancement.
The news source recommends focusing on connections that are no farther away from you than two connections on the network. First-degree connections have directly accepted an invite from you, while second-degree connections - which can be an underestimated source of success - are connected to those people. While it may seem strange to contact them out of the blue, as long as a request is phrased in a specific context such as industry advice, your efforts should be successful.
Researching their history will be important
While composing that first message in the hopes of expanding your network can seem worrying, a lot of that fear can be dissuaded by looking up as much information about them as possible. Researching them on social media networks, company websites and even review sites can give you a leg up on what their specific experience in the field will pertain, giving you an easy way to initiate contact.
In addition, it's recommended to remain very cordial and respectful in your first message, including an easy out for them if they are unable to help you. Mentioning that you'd like to be introduced, or that you're looking for some specific help pertaining to the industry in question, is suggested as the way to go. It's also recommended to find a way that you can provide them some assistance in return for their help - one way to do this is to position yourself as an industry expert, filling your social media page with relevant and interesting industry-related information that will give anyone faith in your knowledge.
Groups are another way to easily find connections and can work as an easier way to break the ice with a relative stranger. However, it's important to involve yourself in the group - you'll be rejected if you try to gain without providing anything in return. Working to gain standing in the group in question can also help you learn more about the industry.
Keep it up even in a position
Even after finding a job, keeping yourself networking is important for future success, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The onboarding period is a very important part of the process, the news source says - not only can you build your network further, but you can discover how the company and industry work, both of which can make a big difference when it comes to your future career whether at that position or at another. In addition, networking outside of your employer can give you valuable information regarding industry developments - they can even give you advice on new customers and ways to add value to your ideas.
Building a network during what many people consider a lull in your job seeking will also help you in the case of needing to find new work. There's a common idiom that the best time to find work is when one is already working, and building new connections can help you whether you decide you need a change or you find you're not fitting in with your current company.