Networking is your best chance of accessing what’s called the ‘hidden job market’. It’s estimated that over 80% of jobs are found through networking and getting referrals from employees.
This means that if you’re searching for your dream job, you must use networking as one of your primary job search strategies.
Check out my top three networking strategies for job seekers:
- Go into each event with a goal in mind
Effective networking is all about being clear and specific about your goals. No one will be able to help you if you don’t know how they can provide assistance. Make it easy for other people to lend a helping hand by getting clear about your objectives before heading to your event. Then, be honest about your career goals when asked.
- Prepare a brief, 20-second elevator pitch
When I say ‘prepare’, I don’t mean memorize word for word. A 20-second elevator pitch is your answer to the question ‘tell me a bit about yourself’. But, a networking event isn’t an interview. You shouldn’t be so rehearsed that people can tell you’ve memorized a paragraph. But, you should keep in mind your top three things to say about yourself.
- Research the LinkedIn profiles of the key professionals attending
This is an amazing way to set yourself apart from other attendees. Typically, a networking event will have a few keynote or panel speakers to help market tickets. I recommend taking note of this and checking out the LinkedIn profiles of some of the top professionals going. This will give you some discussion points to bring up when you meet them.
- Come prepared with 2-5 copies of your resume.
You never know when a recruiter might request to learn more about your background, and you can never come too prepared. I recommend arriving with a few copies of your resume in case it is requested.
Do you have any question about how to network to generate new opportunities? Let me know in the comments section!