The one thing that helped me get a Job: Activating my Network.
Most folks will find their eventual job via their network of contacts. I have not seen more than a hand full of folks who got a job by dropping their resume off. Putting your resume into a job database rarely works either. If you succeed in this, good on you, but maybe it is time to build your network.
Activating your network means: telling folks you are looking for a new job. You don’t need to be blatant, but you do need to be precise. Don’t be too vague. You want folks to know you are looking. An email broadcast may not be required, but make sure folks know you are looking.
Parts of Your Network
- Former employers and former bosses. You need these for your references and if these folks are working, they will know better than anyone else, where jobs might be. These folks are the Insiders. Treasure them and treat them well.
- Again, former co-workers, if these folks are employed, will know of inside jobs and who might be hiring. These are good insiders, and you should stay in contact with them and treat them well (don’t buy them lunch or anything, but maybe buy them a beer or coffee).
- Acquaintances in your industry. You meet these folks at conferences or other events. These can be very good folks if you cultivate good relationships with them.
- Those you meet on your job searches will include:
- Other job seekers, these folks are helpful because they may have heard of folks hiring, but remember they are competitors, and if they don’t have a job, they aren’t as valuable as the first two groups of folks.
- Headhunters are useful because they might give you tips on what areas are hiring and even find you a job (yeh, right).
- Trainers and folks who teach job hunting courses. These folks will give you valuable tips on how to make your resume more compelling and have more tips for you.
This is a good list of valuable folks. Remember, you are trying to discover the inside jobs that will not be advertised. Often, these jobs are unavailable to most folks, but if you have an excellent insider, you may be able to work around that (keep that in mind).
Job Searching Isn’t Easy
Job searching is hard these days (I knew of what I spoke), but nothing worth having will come quickly now.
Activate your network before you think you need them. It is just being prudent.
Great post! I agree with you 100%. I believe that network is more important than people think when it comes to finding a job. Lots of jobs aren’t advertised publicly and find in my experience, a good % of employers will prefer hire referrals above non-referrals.
I agree with Gerry to an extent. I can actually think of a few people I know who have landed jobs through the “formal process” of submitting a resume, and going through the motions. However, most of the people I know who are currently employed found their jobs through people they knew. Another piece of advice I would throw out is to always have a rainy day fund somewhere in case you face a few months of unemployment. Employers can smell desperation!
Not saying you can’t find a job just with your resume, but it is HIGHLY unlikely. Yes, employers can smell desperation, and will ensure you don’t get a very good deal if they hire you (keep that in mind too).
Networking is the best way to find a position, particularly in this competitive environment. If a company runs an advertisement for an opening, they will get a thousands resumes. One should network even when you are not looking for a job.
Very true, everyone you meet could be a future employer, so treat them with respect.
The network is very important in certain industries and with certain companies….and at certain levels within the company. But most people still get jobs in large organizations through the more formal process, without necessarily any outside “connections”.
Gerry, you could not be more wrong, but then again, your business wouldn’t make much money if folks realize that their resume only needs to be at a certain level, to be able to get a job with their network too, so I can understand your point of view too.