How can I network to get a job?

How can you network to get a job? When it comes to job hunting, your network is invaluable to help you find opportunities. How can you activate your networking action plan?

Up to 70% of jobs are found through networking. When it comes to job hunting, your network is invaluable to help you find opportunities. But your contacts are not mind readers.  If they don’t know what type of job you are looking for then they can’t help you get it. You need to start networking.

When companies are looking for new staff one of the first things management will do is an “all staff announcement” regarding the role going live- It’s not uncommon for organisations to also offer to pay a bonus as an incentive to staff who referred a candidate who ends up getting hired.

Why do businesses prefer to recruit this way?

Because sourcing new staff and dealing with hiring agencies is time-consuming and pretty expensive.
It makes sense for companies to access their own network. If your company has a winning team who is intelligent and hard-working the tendency is that their staff’s network is as well- as the saying goes – like attracts like

How can I network to get a job? 3 steps to get results 

Step 1. Create a list of Close Connections 

Close connections are  close family members, friends, previous or current colleagues with whom you are in close contact and have a good relationship.

Now, Identify Who you will speak to and Why– choose What questions you will ask.
For Example:

WHO Why What Questions Answer
Jane Smith Previously worked in Tech company as Account Manager What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job?

Think of at least 3 or 4 contacts to put on your list. Once this step is complete you are ready to contact them 
Before you begin to cringe, let me clarify that this is NOT TO ASK THEM FOR A JOB. This is to ask for a meeting to ask them a few questions about their role, the industry and current trends and developments.

Step 2. Contact those Close Connections

Craft an email or a LinkedIn message- This should be Personal, Concise and Positive.
Tap into your knowledge of your connections and tailor your letter to each individual using the table above.Explain where you have worked, in and what position and what you are thinking you may like to do now.

The ASK- Say you are enlisting their help to share their personal experience working in similar roles or similar companies and if they would be willing to have a 20-30 minute informational interview call with you.

Finalise the message by saying you look forward to hearing back from them.
PS: Offer to return the favour in any way you can and say THANK YOU!

Be polite and professional in this email as it is likely that it will be forwarded onward to one of their contacts or colleagues.
TIP: Schedule a follow-up email or text for one weeks  time. Be patient but also don’t let too much time pass.
Alternatively, you could ask your close connection if there is anyone else they know that they would recommend you speak to.

 Step 3. Prepare your Informational Interview questions

For this step, we have put together a list of useful Informational Interview questions you can use to structure your meeting with your contact. We would recommend choosing between 4-6 questions are sending them to your contact in advance of meeting them.

After you meet them … Always, always, ALWAYS send an email or call them to thank them for their time and advice.

This stuff works! What have you got to lose? 

Following these 3 steps will also position you within your network’s radar as someone who is organised, proactive, friendly, eager and actively pursuing their career dream. Who wouldn’t want to be associated and recommending someone with those qualities?
Apart from being in someone’s “inner circle” you have increased your chances to be referred for a new position, while simultaneously strengthening your own links and connections.

This is a win -win strategy.  It will take some initial planning and it means you move away from your comfort zone of relying solely on job posts, but it’s worth every bit of effort in the long run

Hilt will help you to use Informational Interviews to create a job search action plan that gets results.  See our Online Training course or  Contact us for more details.