While looking online for your next job opportunity, many people get frustrated, exhausted from the search, or fed-up with the long application process. And, sometimes when you send your resume via an online site, you may feel like the documents have fallen into a deep Internet abyss. Yes, in today’s economy, searching online for job openings is an important part of the process. However, it is not the ONLY aspect that you should consider while seeking the next move in your career. In fact, many people underestimate the importance of personal networking during the job search.
Real-World Example of Networking Success
Recently, I worked with a client that had casually met with a business acquaintance and mentioned that she may be looking for a different opportunity. The person told her to send her resume and cover letter to her—just in case there was a potential fit with the organization. Guess what? Less than a month later, my client was contacted because they are creating a new position and she may be the perfect fit. The job is not advertised nor will it be posted online. It is only because of the personal networking that my client has a chance at moving ahead in her career.
Tell People You are Looking for a New Job
If you are interested in building your career opportunities, build and utilize your personal network. If your job search is not a secret, tell people that you are actively searching. Be specific and let them know the types of positions you are seeking. If you are a “stealth job seeker,” then tell only one or two trusted individuals that you are actively looking for a job so they can remember your information when a job arises.
Next, be sure to schedule time for personal networking. Make it a priority within your schedule. Attend local Business After Hours events, sign up for a workshop within your field, or invite a trusted colleague to lunch. Write down your personal networking goals. For example, “Attend one networking meeting and invite Bob Smith for lunch during February.” Make your goals as concrete as possible and assess them at the end of each month.
Build Relationships NOW–Before You Need Them
Finally, start cultivating your business network prior to needing it. For example, if you are desperate for a new job, people will know that. And, you don’t want to be in a position of suddenly losing your job with no potential contacts. It’s better to become involved with a chamber of commerce, women’s organization, fraternal organization, or networking group when you are already employed and can help others achieve their goals. Rather than thinking about what networking can do for you, you become focused on how you can help your contacts. Then, if and when the time comes that you are seeking a new job opportunity, you will have a built-in list of contacts that can assist you with your job search.
I understand the value of building a network of acquaintances, friends, and business professionals that can propel your business or career forward (that’s how I’ve built my business!. There is nothing more valuable than a team of individuals working with you to help you achieve your future objectives.