When it comes to finding a job, many people are turning to their networks and referrals. A recent poll showed that the majority of people got their current job through a referral or direct connection. This trend indicates that networking is more important than ever when job hunting. In this blog post, we will discuss the power of referrals and networking in your search for employment.
The power of referrals in job hunting
When it comes to finding a job, referrals are one of the most powerful tools you can use. A referral is when someone in your network recommends you for a position at their company or another company they are familiar with. Referrals can come from friends, family members, acquaintances, or even professional contacts.
The reason referrals are so powerful is that they provide a way for employers to learn about potential candidates without having to go through traditional channels, such as job postings and resumes. In addition, referrals tend to come with a level of trust and credibility that other methods simply cannot match. After all, if someone you know and trust recommends you for a job, that employer is more likely to take your application seriously.
Of course, not all referrals are created equal. A referral from a colleague or friend who knows your work ethic and skills will carry more weight than a referral from someone you just met. Therefore, it is important to focus on building strong relationships with people who can vouch for your character and abilities.
How to ask for referrals from your network
It can be difficult to ask for referrals, but it is important to remember that most people are happy to help if they can. When asking for referrals, be specific about the type of job you are looking for and the companies you are interested in. It is also helpful to provide your contact information, such as your email address or LinkedIn profile. This way, the person you are asking can easily get in touch with you if they hear of any openings.
Here is a script you can use when asking for referrals:
“Hi [name], I’m looking for a new opportunity in [industry/field]. Do you know anyone at [company] or any other companies who might be hiring? I would appreciate any referrals you can provide.”
If you are feeling extra bold, you can also ask your network if they would be willing to introduce you to someone at the company you are interested in. This is a great way to make a strong first impression and get your foot in the door.
The script for this request might look something like this:
“Hi [name], I’m looking for an opportunity at [company]. Do you know anyone there who you could introduce me to? I would appreciate it if you could put me in touch with them.”
Of course, it is important to only ask for introductions when you have a specific reason for wanting to meet the person, such as wanting to learn more about the company or applying for a job. Simply asking to “pick their brain” is usually not well received.
The benefits of networking for job seekers
Networking can be a great way to find job openings that are not publicly advertised. In addition, networking allows you to learn about different companies and industries from the people who work in them. This insider knowledge can be extremely valuable when applying for jobs.
Networking can also help you make a good impression on potential employers. When you meet someone through your network, they will usually have a positive opinion of you before even meeting you. This is because they already know and trust the person who introduced you. Therefore, it is important to focus on building strong relationships with people in your network.
Finally, networking can simply help make the job search process less stressful. Job hunting can be a lonely and frustrating experience, but networking can help you feel supported and connected. Meeting new people and hearing their stories can remind you that you are not alone in your job search.
If you are feeling shy or intimidated by networking, remember that it does not have to be a formal process. You can start building your network simply by talking to the people around you. For example, strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the bus or at the coffee shop. You never know who you will meet or where your next referral might come from!
Reach out to your network
The first step in networking is reaching out to the people you already know. These are the people who are most likely to want to help you in your job search. Your network includes your family, friends, former colleagues, neighbours, and anyone else you know and trust.
When reaching out to your network, it is important to be specific about the type of job you are looking for. This way, they can easily think of people who might be able to help you. For example, if you are looking for a job in marketing, reach out to your uncle who works in advertising or your friend who just got a job at a PR firm.
Tips for networking effectively
Now that you know the benefits of networking and how to get started, here are a few tips to help you network effectively:
-Schedule time for networking: To make the most of your networking efforts, it is important to schedule time for it. Set aside an hour or two each week specifically for meeting new people and catching up with your contacts. This will help ensure that networking does not fall by the wayside as you get busy with other aspects of your job search.
-Be prepared: When meeting someone new, it is important to be prepared. This means having an elevator pitch ready about who you are and what type of job you are looking for. You should also bring along a few copies of your resume.
-Follow up: After meeting someone new, be sure to follow up with them. Send them an email or LinkedIn message thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in staying in touch. Following up shows that you are interested in building a relationship and makes it more likely that they will remember you down the road.
The importance of staying in touch with your contacts
Even after you have landed a job, it is important to stay in touch with your network. The people you meet while job hunting can be valuable contacts throughout your career. In addition, staying in touch with your network will make it easier to find a new job if you ever need to do so again.
The bottom line is that networking is an essential part of the job search process. By building strong relationships with other professionals, you will increase your chances of finding a great job. So get out there and start meeting new people!
Do you have any networking tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!