Networking trumps listings when trying to find a job

10.18.2013


Networking trumps listings when trying to find a job
Networking trumps listings when trying to find a job.

When job searching, the first place many people look is an online job board, as they provide plenty of leads for new opportunities in their field of choice. While job boards aren't a bad place to look, there's no guarantee they'll pan out - in comparison, while networking is sometimes overlooked, it can have a much higher success rate than many would expect it to.

The main problem when it comes to applying on job boards is that many people apply, according to MarketWatch. Where some listings may see hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes and applications, networking opportunities can pan out as there's much less competition. Instead of an applicant looking for an employer, networking has employers looking for applicants specifically. Statistics point toward networking having much more success - from 2008 to 2010, more than 42 percent of workers who found new jobs reported finding them through networking, while only 21 percent on average found new work through job boards online, according to Forbes.

One hiring expert told the news source that while 20 percent of the average job hunt should revolve around job listings, they shouldn't be the main point of emphasis - instead of applying to those positions, they should be seen as a source of leads. From there, the next step is finding a referral. Not only will this reduce the stress of applying to many jobs at once, it will also allow for the search to revolve around your skills, not what others demand from you. Finding openings can also be done by turning toward a staffing agency - they'll be able to match you with a wide variety of jobs in the field of your choice.

The "hidden" job market
To add to boards being a secondary source of job postings, a decent proportion of jobs are never listed on search boards, instead taken care of internally from the beginning to the end of the hiring process. As a result, most experts agree that focusing on this niche is vital - one believes 60 percent of the job hunt should involve networking to access this "hidden" market, with the remaining 20 percent spent on ensuring your resume and Internet profiles will only help your chances further.

The networking approach should first take place in determining which jobs on boards are most interesting to your desires, then targeting them specifically and creating a list of five to 10 that you're most interested in. Secondly, any potential connections that can provide access to these targets should be undertaken, giving not only a better idea of what the job would entail, but how easy or hard attaining a referral would be. By asking people meaningful questions about their work, it's more likely they'll respond positively to you, giving you a better chance to make connections, according to the news source.

All that's left is your representation
Once the groundwork of your networking has been achieved, there's only one step left in building your resume. As many job searchers will already have their resumes prepared, all that will be left is targeting them toward specific positions. Only one page will be necessary as long as searchers focus on their accomplishments, according to the news source, and the page should be targeted toward the company's needs and better ways to solve them. This will set the stage for an interview, in which applicants should be prepared to discuss the company's business needs.

Another way to build a network is to look toward a temporary staffing agency - by doing so, applicants can gain access to not only experience in a given field, but can build their connections with coworkers and bosses in that position. Having these connections will expand your abilities when it comes to both searching and networking, as you'll likely have a wider collection of references to draw from and knowledge of an industry.

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