Networking remains one of the most common and by far the most effective way to find a job. From management jobs to staff jobs, companies are now hiring either internally or through references. These are commonly known as ‘hidden jobs’ that can be accessed only if you have a strong network of contacts within the industry.
So what does networking really mean?
Networking refers to finding a job through a lead that is received from one of your contacts, friends or colleagues who are also known as your network. It is also considered to be the oldest method of job hunting before the arrival of the internet and online job portals. Networking also entails building new contacts through socializing and thereby gaining access to wider opportunities. The best way to grow your network is online by joining professional networks such as industry groups and associations. This puts you in touch with the right people from your industry or profession.
A recent study has revealed that more than 75% of the jobs are fulfilled through networking. These jobs probably never get advertised online as the candidates are hired through referrals. This translates into a missed opportunity for someone who is solely relying on online job postings. Networking is beneficial to both the job seekers as well as the employers. The job seekers have the opportunity to connect directly with the decision makers and stand out from the competition. On the other hand, the employers save valuable time and money which is spent in job advertisements.
There are a couple of things that need to be kept in mind before you start career networking.
- Having a strong CV or resume is very crucial as you will be required to pass it on to your existing and newly built contacts. Make sure it is professionally written. You can also consider taking assistance from a professional CV writing service in UAE.
- Apart from building new contacts, also connect with your existing contacts. These can be your friends, acquaintances, ex-colleagues and so on. These are the people who can provide valuable feedback about your past performances and recommend you to your future employer.
- An important aspect of networking in today’s world is social networking. So make sure you have an impressive online presence on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn also plays an important role in professional networking and having a strong LinkedIn profile is crucial as many employers tend to make hiring decisions based on LinkedIn profiles.
- Once you have established contacts through various sources, make sure you keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Don’t be hesitant to gently remind them to introduce you to someone they said they would.
- Lastly, it is important that you keep a track of the number of recommendations you have received and its source. Gauge the usefulness of a particular source and then dedicate more of your time on that than the rest. Like any job, if taken seriously, networking can produce some great results in a short amount of time.