In the article, “How Many Jobs are Found through Networking, Really”, PayScale.com notes the following information: “Some estimate that as much as 80 percent of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking.” Yet many job seekers spend their time applying to job listings, where there is a tremendous amount of competition. From this, we can see that you have a much higher chance of securing a position that you want through building a network and connecting with like-minded professionals. In this article, we will go over some tips on how job seekers can market themselves.
Why It’s Important to Consistently Make Connections
The fear of reaching out to others might stop you from connecting and starting up a conversation. However, with some practice, this can become a regular part of your action plan. Taking initiative by reaching out also shows confidence and can demonstrate your professional communication skills. Through making connections, you can develop relationships and eventually get referred to a hiring manager in a company.
Finding People and Companies to Connect With
Here are some tips for how job seekers can market themselves by building connections:
● Connect with people who are in the same position or field that you want to pursue.
● Follow the pages of companies that you are interested in working with. By doing this, you can learn about a company from the content that the business posts. You can also be among the first to see information about their job opportunities. Reach out to the person who posts a job to introduce yourself and show your interest and enthusiasm for the position. If the person who posted the job is not the decision-maker, they can also refer you to the hiring manager.
● Search for companies using LinkedIn’s search tool and connect with decision-makers who are associated with the business. Once you have built a relationship with a connection, you can ask them for an introduction to someone you would like to talk to in the organization.
● Connect with alumni who received a similar education and are working in an area you want to pursue. The alumni may also be working with or may have worked with a company that you are interested in.
Making the Connection
To build a solid, targeted network, request and accept invitations from people who meet your networking goals. For more details, see our article on “When You Should or Should NOT Connect”. When inviting someone to connect, send a brief, professional, and personalized message that explains who you are and why you want to connect. You can also mention a connection that you have in common or something that you find interesting about the person’s profile.
Having a Conversation
To start off your conversation with your new connection, you can thank them for connecting. But most people stop there – which ends the interaction. To keep the conversation flowing, you can talk about a commonality that you share, or comment on a recent update or article that they posted.
Ask a question in your message to show interest and curiosity and to encourage a response. For example, you can ask a question about the company or how you may be able to help the connection. Remember to add your contact information at the end of your messages to make it easy for connections to reach out to you through various methods.
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