If you are not networking, you are missing out! This vital part of job searching reaps the rewards such as career advice, hiring opportunities, and market insights. Building relationships has the potential to accelerate your career growth, and connecting with like-minded professionals is an effective way to get your foot in the door.
In this article, I will talk about the importance of networking, asking the “right” questions, network building, and approaching someone in your network for a career possibility.
Why is Networking Important?
The importance of networking in career development cannot be overstated, as it can provide employees with a host of benefits.
Job seekers can access job openings not advertised via networking, internal referrals, or recommendations. This saves the hiring company time and money. A known quantity is usually best.
Expedites the Job Search
A well-connected employee can be introduced to job opportunities more quickly by connecting with other professionals in the industry rather than applying and hoping for a response.
Improved Career Visibility and Recognition
Attending industry events and engaging with other professionals can help employees establish a reputation and become more recognizable to employers.
An Experienced Professional Insights and Advice
Networking aims to provide employees with the opportunity to seek advice and tips from more experienced professionals in their industry.
Are You Networking with Potential Employers?
Get in Touch With Your Potential Employers but Do Your Research
You should research before talking to potential employers to understand what the company is looking for and what positions they have available. Send a simple email or LinkedIn message introducing yourself and asking if they would be open to discussing the company and any openings they may have.
After you’ve agreed, prepare specific questions about the organization and the role you’re interested in. This will demonstrate that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested.
Take Part in Networking Events
The best way to meet hiring managers, recruiters, and other professionals in your field is to attend networking events and conferences.
Research the companies and attendees in advance if you attend a networking event. You can open doors to business prospects by showing your enthusiasm and knowledge.
Here is an example of what I mean:
Speak with booth representatives at job fairs by asking thoughtful questions about the company and available positions. The dialogue could consist of questions like the following:
- How is the company currently using its resources?
- In your hiring process, what skills and experience are you looking for?
- What do you think of the company’s culture?
- How do employees at this company usually develop their careers?
How Do I Get Started with Job Search Networking?
First, define your networking objectives and pinpoint potential contacts for job search networking. You can begin selecting your contacts once you are clear on your networking goals.
There are several ways to identify potential networking contacts:
- Consider friends, family members, former colleagues, and classmates with connections to your industry. Have a brainstorming session!
- Find potential networking contacts by using social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Its robust search engine allows you to filter by industry, job title, and location. Utilize Facebook and Twitter – all useful.
Prepare a Networking Pitch
Now it is time to develop a networking pitch. This is how you will break the ice and introduce yourself.
The networking pitch you give should be concise and action-oriented, highlighting your career aspirations and how the person you are connecting with can help you achieve them.
For example: Hi, my name is Connie. I’m considering transitioning into psychology and noticed your background is in this field. May I ask you a few questions about your experience in this discipline?
It’s Time for Cultivation
Now that you have established a connection, you need to cultivate it. Getting to know someone outside of work is an excellent way to do this. The goal is to build a rapport beyond work discussions. Relationships can be strengthened, and opportunities can be created by establishing a social connection with the individual. Trust is established.
The Maintenance Stage
Establishing a strong connection with your networking contacts is only half the battle. Nurturing relationships allows you to stay at the top of their mind when new opportunities arise, whether inviting them to seminars, sending holiday greetings, congratulating them on milestone achievements, etc.
Networking Questions for Job Searches: What Are They?
As a job seeker, you can differentiate yourself by asking relevant questions. Below are great examples of networking questions to consider:
- Can you tell me about your career journey thus far and what inspired you to pursue this career path?
- What do you enjoy most about your current role, and what drew you to it?
- Is there anything I need to know about your job responsibilities?
- What are some of the most challenging aspects of your job?
- Is this field suited to specific skill sets and experiences?
- In difficult circumstances, how do you manage client relationships?
- Is work-life balance a priority in your organization?
- How do you assess a candidate’s qualities, and what skills are valued in your organization?
- In the future, what changes or trends do you expect to see in your industry?
- Is there a salary range for this position?
Ask the right questions for the situation and the person you are talking to. In your job search networking activities, ask questions to help you better understand your industry, the companies you aim for, and the people you encounter.
Networking success depends on being curious, open, and willing to learn at every interaction. A thriving career can be built by consistently investing time and effort in cultivating and maintaining relationships, asking thoughtful questions, and staying connected to your professional network. You can do this – so start today!