Networking vs. Job Searching

Shaking Hands at Networking EventYou’re looking for a new career.  You’ve spent hours upon hours writing cover letters and sending out resumes.  But still, you’re not getting any results.  You’re probably thinking, “Why can’t I seem to land any interviews!” or “I just wish I could be done with this job search.”  If you feel that way… Read on!  Before you take any steps forward, take a step backwards and let’s take a look at your process.

Gone are the days of sending out a hand-full of printed resumes with a one page cover letter.  Gone are the days of actually being able to submit an application in person or even to a person.  The job search has taken a drastic “Left Turn” and many are still going straight.

Here’s what to do.  Network!  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but rather who you know.”  This saying is ever more true right now.  In order to get into an interview, it’s really about the connections and relationships you’ve built.  I can count numerous times that I myself have built relationships and because of those relationships landed an interview.  Networking won’t necessarily directly get you a job, but will help in getting your foot in the door.

Have an elevator speech ready and mention you are currently looking to meet “new contacts in your field.”  Using this approach, you will be able to meet new professionals in your field and develop relationships with them.  DO NOT mention you are looking for a job.  That will end the conversation right there.  You’re looking to meet professionals in your field.  End of story.

woman pressing social networking iconNetworking doesn’t necessarily have to be uncomfortable.  Remember, its just as uncomfortable for them as it is for you.  Take a risk.  Take a chance.  Introduce yourself to at least three to five people each meeting.  Spend some time developing the relationship with each person.  It’s really quality over quantity.  But as you go to more and more meetings, you will see the same people over and over again.  Take this opportunity to build upon the connection you already have.

It may seem counter-intuitive to not mention “job searching,” since you are really searching for a job.  Trust me.  They are thinking, “That person is a true professional.”  When a position at their workplace becomes available, you will be the firsts to know and more than likely get a good recommendation.  An interview should follow.  It’s up to you to land the job now.

To sum it all up, you cannot stop applying for jobs, however you can supplement your search by networking.  Go to one networking event a month.  You will be surprised at the connections and relationships you make.  One last thing-  Use your social media and professional online presence to network!  Facebook and LinkedIn are valuable tools to start conversations.  Instead of posting pictures and comments, friend someone you don’t know and start a conversation.  More on that later!

Best wishes on your continued successful job search.

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