Use your network
Your network is often bigger than you think and can be worth its weight in gold when looking for a job. Let your network be your path to the labour market.
Review your network
Go through and make a list of who you know. As well as your immediate friends and family, you almost certainly know people like neighbours, previous colleagues, people you know from courses or training, and friends’ siblings. The list may be long. Get in touch and explain that you are looking for a job and don’t give up if you don’t immediately get a lead. Think long term – next time a vacant job comes up in your network, perhaps someone will think of you.
Extend your network
To develop and grow your network you could, for example:
- Think about who in your network to focus your efforts on. Are there people who work in your industry or people who have a lot of contacts?
- Go to presentations and trade fairs in the field in which you are looking for a job. Talk to people there and make connections.
- Contact someone you want to get to know better and suggest lunch or coffee.
- Carefully go through your contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media networks. Is there anyone who works in your industry? Or who may have contacts in your industry? It could be good to get in touch and ask if they can introduce you to interesting people.
- On social media, it is easy to explore, develop and use your network to look for jobs. Groups, for example, are a very good place to make new connections.
Your network is the way into a company
Is there anyone in your network who works for a company that you would like to work for? Get in touch and explain that you are looking for a job and are interested in working for the company, and what you want to do there. Suggest lunch or coffee so you can learn more about the company and explain yourself. Start by listening and asking questions. Be aware of areas where you could fit in and lead the conversation towards what you are interested in. Perhaps they could connect you with the person responsible for your area.
Find key people
Go to trade fairs, breakfast seminars and other events where you can find people in your sector. Mingle with other participants. There is a good chance that you have interests in common and this will be a natural way into the conversation. Explain that you are looking for a job. It can be a good idea to give business cards to the people you have been talking to and add them to your contacts on LinkedIn.