It’s graduation season so, I thought I would share some ideas on how new graduates (or even seasoned professionals) can find a job if they are looking for employment. Over 80% of all jobs are found through networking according to a recent study published on LinkedIn.
Here are six steps to help someone who is looking for work (along with two bonus ideas when they get a great connection).
1. First, get your mindset right.
Desperation is not referable. Since you’ll be depending on your network to speak highly of you to their hiring manager and contacts, practice confidently touting your skills.
2. Image-check your social media.
Potential employers will – and you won’t want to make your network look bad if they stick their neck out and recommend you. An employer will not consider hiring someone if they check out your Facebook page and you have posted widely inappropriate comments and tirades about people.
3. Start with current relationships.
Reach out to friends, family and business contacts in person, on LinkedIn and via social media to tell them exactly what kind of position you’re looking for. Ask if they can check for any upcoming openings and keep you in mind.
4. Inventory your other connections.
Don’t forget to check in with neighbours, professional organizations, past customers, and community organizations for more contacts. When it comes to referrals for employment, don’t underestimate the strength of weak ties.
5. Determine where you stand with these contacts.
Whether they are active, passive, or dormant will determine the strategy. I can outline how to approach each. Active; pick up the phone and ask for assistance. There’s a relationship. They will most likely love to help. Passive; set an appointment to reconnect (preferably in person). Find out about them and let them know you’re looking for something. Dormant; reconnect by social media or email. Just talk. Don’t ask for anything – yet. Stay in touch, build the relationship before you ask.
6. Visit organizations in the industry you want.
Network right there, on the ground. Check in with the front desk, drop your resume off in-person and ask to meet with the HR director. Better yet, find out if someone in your network can connect you to a current employee in that company. Contact them through the referral. Meet them for coffee and come prepared.
Once you get a referral, do these two things:
1. Research your prospective employer.
Never go in without being prepared on the history of the company, their latest press releases, their corporate culture and values – whatever you can find. Checking out their website is only the start. Google the organization to get more information. If possible, find out who might be interviewing you and learn more about them.
2. Offer to do a “working interview.”
This is a great way for any company to take your experience and work ethic for a “test drive.” It will give you an opportunity to show them what you’re made of. If all goes well, ask them to consider you for the position.
Your network is the lifeblood of your career. Don’t let it die of professional loneliness. Learn how to network your way into a job.