Networking is a vital skill that’s required for your professional development, which can help you land some great job opportunities. Some people may find the process of networking to be easy, while for others, it can be terrifying.
Over the past few decades, networking has become easier through the internet, allowing people to network with recruiters and company employees. If you’ve been job hunting for months, then networking can open you up to new job leads that can help in landing the position you want.
This piece looks at how you can find a job through networking, as well as some tips you can use to help you land the job of your dreams.
Why is networking important?
Networking is important as it allows you to build strong connections with people in your chosen field. It's also one of the best ways to find a new job or land a promotion at the company you already work for.
Rather than submitting your job applications on online job boards, networking can allow you to access the hidden job market. The hidden job market is made up of various unadvertised job opportunities, which can be accessed via your network, whether that’s through industry professionals or recruiters.
People within your network will then be able to put you forward for an unadvertised position as of when you are available on the job market. This can help you stand out from the competition.
Utilise social media
Social media can be a great networking tool, particularly when it comes to finding a job. In the past, it would have been difficult to stay in touch with many of the connections that you’ve made, but platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn have made this process easier.
It’s important that you take a long-term strategy with networking so that you build a strong network of professionals. Whenever you make a new connection, it’s essential that you follow up and continue to stay in touch with them.
Keeping a regular pattern of communication with the person you’ve networked with is key. Whether that’s once every few weeks or having a monthly meeting, it means that you can establish a solid professional relationship.
Ensure you have some conversation starters when meeting new people
Attending networking events, whether that’s in-person or online can be intimidating. If you are going to an event for the first time, having some conversation starters can help you settle down when you are building connections.
Ahead of attending a networking event, you should keep yourself informed on the latest industry news and trends. This can help you come up with some conversation starters when meeting people on the day.
Some effective networking conversation starters can include the following:
- What do you do in your current role?
- What brings you to this event today?
- What are your thoughts on the event so far?
Take your time with building and maintaining your network
Maintaining your network is just as important as building it so take your time when building your network. Rather than trying to meet so many people at once at an event, it’s worth taking a quality, not quantity approach. This allows you to build a network that is not only full of knowledge and expertise but can point you in the right direction for job opportunities.
Scheduling time with people who are crucial to your network, whether that’s through a phone call or an in-person meeting can be very useful. If you have not spoken to someone in your network for a long time, reconnecting with them can be beneficial, particularly in the context of your job search.
Maintaining a log of contacts, such as a contacts book will allow you to keep track of your network’s contact details. It also means that you can update any new phone numbers or emails as of when some members in your network have landed new jobs or promotions.
Have a clear goal in mind when attending networking events
Whenever you attend a networking event, you should have a clear goal of what you want to get out of it. Always ask yourself when you are going to an event: “Who do I want to meet and why?”
If the event you are attending has senior-level managers, executives or employees you want to connect with, your goal could be to leave with five new connections. Those new connections you create can not only help you expand your knowledge of industry-related news and developments but can also steer you towards landing your dream job.
Securing your dream job with ICAEW Jobs
There are many benefits of networking, which can help you find a job, but also help you build connections with experts in your field. By nurturing the relationships you’ve created with people in your network, they can be invaluable when it comes to feedback and discussing ideas with them.
If you are planning to take the next step in your career, that’s where ICAEW Jobs can help. You can check out the latest careers advice and job listings on the ICAEW Jobs website today.