Finding a job can be a long process, and you may find yourself looking for quite a while on job boards, social media and company websites.
Yet sometimes one of the most effective ways of getting your dream job – or at least initially getting your foot through the door is – to network with the people around you. As well as putting your CV out there, put yourself out there as well!
You may already be doing it without realising but personally, I think there are three key points to consider when networking.
1. First Impressions count
If you are meeting people for the first time, whether you are at work or socialising, make sure you leave a good, memorable impression. Show your enthusiasm and personality. Don’t come across over powering or needy. Be relaxed, and generally act interested in what they do for a living.
2. Don’t just jump in
Good networking is like dating; it involves getting to know someone and gaining trust before you start asking for favours, or dishing them out. You wouldn’t usually marry someone after a first date and it’s the same with networking. Let that person get to know you so and feel happy putting your forward if a job they know of is up for grabs. Also, it is important to make sure you keep in contact with the people you meet because you never know when you will need their help again.
3. Look around – the people to network with are right in front of you!
Networking is not all about meeting new people; you should also think about the people you already know. It might be your friends who you went to school/university with, co-workers or family members. These connections can be a faster way to get you known to companies; and your friends already know you, so should be happy to recommend you to their contacts!
You could also make yourself known by going to job fairs, and open networking events.
Don’t be shy to put yourself out there and tell people what you can do. Remember, it is not what you know, it’s who you know!