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Why Networking Is So Important
Networking involves the use of business contacts to acquire advice, information and referrals when job hunting. Your contacts will range from close friends to professionals that you met previously.
However, it’s always easier to network with close friends, family and neighbors. You can also network with fellow coworkers from previous jobs, classmates and other people.
As the famous saying goes, it’s not what you know, but whom you know. Thus, you never know who’ll have the power to give you your dream job.
Studies & What They Show: Excluding the search through want ads, studies have shown that 60 to 90 percent of jobs have been found because of personal contacts, relatives and friends.
When networking, you have to ask people if they know of job openings for someone who has your qualifications. In many cases, they might know someone who can help you. In a lot of cases, these are the unadvertised jobs.
If you network well, it’ll reduce the amount of time spent job searching, and it’ll turn your personal contacts into an interview and possibly a job offer.
Find as Many Contacts as Possible: If you were an employer, then wouldn’t you want to interview someone to whom you were referred by someone you know and trust? It eliminates the guesswork of looking at applications and trying to figure out who’ll make a good employee.
You have a lot of organizations that rely on referrals, and it’s especially common with smaller companies. This costs much less than trying to hire an employment agency or paying for a classified ad.
Who Do You Network With? Under the ideal circumstances, you want to network with people in all types of industries and businesses related to your field. You can also join a professional association to meet with contacts.
Maintain contact with previous professors, employers, interns and classmates. You never know who’ll become a potential job lead.
Prepare a Script: If you network effectively, then you should prepare and practice. Start by creating a script that will describe who you are and what you want in a position. You should also talk about relevant accomplishments. This includes:
• Years of experience.
• Important knowledge you possess.
Follow Up: If you want networking to work best, then the follow-up becomes an essential part of the process. After you’ve spoken with someone about a job lead or referral, send them a letter and thank them for their help and suggestions.
In addition, keep them updated on your progress because you never know if he or she will learn about another job lead.
While networking is difficult for some people, the efforts put forth are well worth it.
Source: SWE Career Center
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