Ah, the joys of job hunting. I have heard more than once that job hunting is a full-time job. This may not be exactly true but the point is that job hunting does take concerted efforts of time, actions, and luck. Assuming that your résumé is modern in format and up-to-date, what else can you do other than applying online?
The answer is networking. Networking online and in person. Networking your way to a new job is one of the most important ways you can find your best job. What is networking as it relates to helping you advance your career? In short form, it is interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. It does not matter if you are extroverted or introverted, take a comfortable approach to doing this. Here are eleven ideas to help you in your job search:
- Let family, friends, and neighbors know that you are open to learning about job openings in your area of expertise.
- Target companies you are interested in and contact their Human Resources department to ask for a 30-minute informational interview to ask questions and learn about the mission and goals of the company. Send a thank you email after the meeting. Ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn.
- Attend professional association meetings. Get to those at the meetings. Ask questions. Associations usually have job boards or post openings in their newsletters.
- Be active on business social media. Post information about current topics, invite commentary.
- Volunteer for a cause you care about; you will meet a variety of people from all walks of life. Ask questions about their career, their family, their interests to establish rapport.
- Go to your high school and college reunions. Yes, I said that. Those people know you and hopefully, they remember you. Catch up with everyone!
- Go to a conference or trade show in your field. Leave your cards, be interested, talk to people at the breakout sessions, take business cards and follow up after the show with a quick email.
- Talk to strangers! At work, at a coffee shop, in a store, at a social event, wherever. Start with your smile and let that introduce you first. People know people who can help you.
- Go to your local chamber of commerce meetings. Meet the owners of businesses. Talk to the meeting speaker after their speech. Connect with the meeting organizer.
- Investigate Meet Ups in your area. In most areas, there are business and social meetups. Explore the groups and go to some meetings to decided which groups are for you.
- Join LinkedIn or improve your LinkedIn profile; invite people in your industry to connect with you. Thank them with a message after they accept. Search for job openings in the search area of LinkedIn and download the jobs app. If you need help brushing up your profile, contact me.
As you can imagine, there are many ways networking will produce real results for you. I leave you with three thoughts: be clear about your goals, be consistent with your actions, and be concise with the actions that you take to enhance your career. Networking your way to a new job is one of the most important ways you can find your best job, so get out there and start networking!
Career Advice Simplified is an experienced and full-service career services coaching company providing clients with strategic career planning, career coaching, résumé reviewing, résumé writing, cover letter creating, biography constructing, interview preparing, social media profiling, and personal branding. If you have the desire for a stepped up career, we have solutions. Win the game of job hunting with our specialists. We provide resume and career services in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Venice and all along the Suncoast!
Jean is a certified senior-level human resources executive/consultant, adjunct professor, management trainer, professional speaker, resume writer, career coach, and author.