Networking is truly one of the most effective and efficient activities in finding your first job in your chosen career field.
The reality of the job market is that many positions are never advertised, never recruited for and never made known outside organizations. Yet these positions continued to be filled. This is done through referrals.
The key to effective networking is to build your network by expanding your initial contacts.
In building your job search network, you will need to develop a list of potential network contacts. Don’t worry about whether they are personally responsible for hiring.
It is not who they are but who they know. You likely already do a lot more networking than you realize. The key to making it effective in your job search is to have a clear focus and direction.
The following are several objectives to keep in mind when speaking with others about your job search:
- To make others aware of your job search and your career focus;
- To open up additional lines of communication in the job market;
- To increase your knowledge about a particular career field or industry;
- To find out more about potential employers; and
- To discover hidden job opportunities.
Networking doesn’t just happen. You need to be active in your efforts and make sure you get out and meet people. Start by talking to everyone you meet at business meetups, trade shows and conferences. Sites like meetup.com, Eventful and Eventbrite are very useful when you need to find places to network.
In order to achieve your network objectives, you need to consider each contact as a potential opportunity to further expand your network. You will come in contact with other people each and every day. How you integrate that contact into your job search network will determine your potential for overall success in your search for a job.
Tamara is the Career Services Specialist for University Canada West, which is located in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. The university offers both online and on-campus Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and MBA programs.