When you're trying to find a job, breaking into an industry can seem more difficult than it actually is. However, there are strong strategies that a lot of searchers overlook that can have direct benefits in the job search, and networking is the key to many of them.
Business News Daily recommends that the first step that job seekers looking to break into a new industry should take is to attend plenty of networking events relevant to your chosen career path. These events often have plenty of staffing officials who you can turn to for assistance in a variety of ways. They also often bring dozens, if not hundreds, of industry professionals with years or even decades of experience as well. Speaking to any of these officials can boost your opportunities and network alike, giving you a greater opportunity to expand your resources and find out about industry news and, potentially, job openings.
When meeting these people, the news source doesn't recommend immediately launching into a prepared speech about the industry in question. Proper networking is all about making connections, and even friendships, with other people. This means discussions about their previous jobs, histories and various additional experiences can be greatly advantageous. Specifically, telling stories about what you've learned in the past can put you in a good light as both a person and an employee. These stories will be able to improve others' perception of your abilities without making you seem like you're only interested in finding a new job. Networking is a two-way street and isn't a one-day thing, and you'll need to appeal to others as much as they'll appeal to you.
When it comes to conversations, the news source suggests pushing the focus off yourself and onto the person you're speaking to. Shifting the focus onto others will have several benefits. Not only will they like that they can share about themselves, but you'll be able to glean important information about their previous work history. Certain questions, if asked in the right way, will allow you to determine things about their industry such as what they like and dislike about their company. Other things to learn include stress and expectations someone in their position would experience, and how their company's culture works. All of these things can improve your standing with others.
At the same time, it's also important not to overstay your welcome in the conversation. There's no real way to tell when a networking opportunity is over, but it should be clear when it's dying down. Meeting a professional or recruiter shouldn't take more than a few minutes, and being punctual and respectful at the same time will only further boost your image.
AOL Jobs also notes that in the job searching process, each and every person will have a certain presentation of themselves. In other words, this means that a person will be seen by others in their specific industry. No matter how much experience you have, it's important to present yourself as willing, capable yet ready to work. Not watching the way you approach this can make some people balk at networking with you or recommending you for a position, so it's important to always be at your best.
Instead, the news source recommends taking a four-step approach to networking. First, you should locate any potential problems in your work history or resume, such as a gap of experience or employment. Once you've discovered a weak point, the next steps are to uncover why they may be seen negatively, form a new plan to change them and understand where the next steps to improve your efforts would come after that. At the end of the process, it will be easy to determine your next steps and how to better network in the future.