Networking Made Easy: Tips for a Fast, Successful Job Search
Become a member of TranslationDirectory.com at just
$8 per month (paid per year)
You've heard it before: at least 80% of
all the jobs are found through the "hidden" job market,
also known as the "unpublished" job market. These are jobs
typically landed through word of mouth and referrals as
opposed to the hit-or-miss method of answering ads, posting
your resume to internet databases, or other techniques meant
to target the remaining 20% of all jobs in the published
It stands to reason that if the vast majority of the jobs
are to be found in this hidden market, that you should spend
the majority of your job search time working to crack it.
But, as you may have reasoned already, accessing the hidden
job market requires that you take charge of your search,
reaching out and building strategic relationships, taking
proactive initiative, and making yourself visible in the
That's right. It requires that you use networking strategies.
And, the thought of networking leaves many people feeling
nervous and unsure. For an introverted or shy person, the
idea of networking can even cause serious anxiety and fear.
What is networking exactly? If you believe, like many people,
that networking is simply approaching everyone you know
to ask for a job, it is no wonder you feel uncomfortable!
That isn't what networking is. True networking is about
building strategic relationships that involve a win-win,
reciprocal exchange of information, support, and/or referrals.
When defined in this way, networking ceases to be so scary.
But, it also requires that you expand your view of networking.
No longer is networking just something you do every now
and then when you are conducting a job search; building
and strengthening your network is something that you should
be working at all the time. But, if you find yourself facing
an immediate job search, and your networking skills are
rusty, don't fret. Here are some tips to get you moving.
1) When you first start out to build your
network, it will be helpful for you to think of networking
as a research project. Networking isn't just about the quantity
of contacts; it is about the quality. Don't be afraid to
reach out to decision-makers and people "in the know" within
companies and industries of interest to you. These are quality
contacts. Explain your career plans and ask them if they
would spend 15 minutes talking to you and answering some
questions. Most people will be flattered and say yes. When
you do get in front of them, NEVER ask for a job, but DO
ask for advice and referrals. These meetings are traditionally
known as informational interviews.
2) As mentioned above, your networking
efforts should emphasize building quality relationships.
But, don't discount the importance of quantity. As much
as possible, you should also expand your network. Friends,
relatives, people you went to college with, contacts you
have made in your community, doctors, the salespeople you
come into contact with...they are all part of your network.
You won't want to spend a large amount of time on this,
but at least make a comprehensive list and call or send
a letter reestablishing a connection, informing people of
your search, and asking for advice or referrals. Again,
notice that it isn't about asking for a job. Just ask for
advice and referrals.
3) Prepare, prepare, prepare for your networking
meetings - especially those that take the format of an informational
interview. Prepare lists of questions about the company
or the industry. Do your research so that you know something
about the person you are meeting with and the company they
work for (you might be amazed at what a simple Google search
will turn up). For some people, role playing is helpful.
If you are working with a career coach, this is something
they may be able to help with. But a friend or close family
member could also help you. There is no better antidote
for nervousness than being prepared.
out from behind your desk and making yourself visible is
crucial. Join and then take part in events held by professional
associations and other groups. Attend workshops and trainings
in your field or industry. Attend job fairs to meet directly
with hiring decision-makers. Volunteer your career-related
skills in your community. If you are an expert at something,
offer to speak on the topic to various groups. Job searching
can be a time of anxiety and diminished self-confidence
for many people, but don't hide at home behind your computer.
Get out and meet people.
5) Yes, I just told you not to hide behind
your computer, but the internet will play a role in any
comprehensive networking campaign. Creating and maintaining
a blog on your area of career expertise is an extraordinary
way to build your credibility and visibility. Social networking
sites like LinkedIn, MySpace, and FaceBook are increasingly
popular ways to expand your network. Consider writing articles
on industry and profession-related topics and then offering
them as free content to webmasters (make sure the article
is credited to you and includes a way to contact you). You
can also participate in online discussions on topics related
to your career focus. Just remember that you shouldn't "hide"
behind a fake name like many people do. Your purpose is
to expand your visibility and credibility, so you must use
your real name.
6) Finally, show your appreciation and
follow up on every single contact with a thank you note.
True networking is based on cultivating and nurturing long-term
relationships, so you should always be thinking of nice
things you can do to show your appreciation, or ways that
you could return a favor. Besides being common courtesy,
your efforts in this regard will pay you back by further
strengthening your relationships and helping to keep you
Happy networking! Even if it feels a little uncomfortable
at first, just get out there and do it. Make networking
a part of your daily routine and plan to spend the majority
of your job search time on networking activities (approximately
three-fourths of your time is a good estimate). The more
you network, the faster your current job search will come
to a successful conclusion and the faster and more successful
any future job searches will be.
certified resume writer and career
coach, Michelle Dumas is the director
of Distinctive Career Services LLC. Through Distinctive Documents
http://www.distinctiveweb.com and her Executive VIP Services
http://www.100kcareermarketing.com Michelle has empowered
thousands of professionals all across the U.S. and worldwide.
Michelle is also the author of Secrets
of a Successful Job Search http://www.job-search-secrets.com
Submit your article!
Read more articles - free!
Read sense of life articles!
this article to your colleague!
more translation jobs? Click here!
agencies are welcome to register here - Free!
translators are welcome to register here - Free!
Please see some ads as well as other content from TranslationDirectory.com: