When you are looking for a job, apart from checking the ads in newspapers and specialized job search engines on the internet, you should also ask for information from the people on your network’s contact list.
Your personal contacts can provide you with current information on the company and position vacancies that are not posted in the regular job marketplace. Sometimes, when they do not provide information about the job opening you are looking for, your contacts may be able to refer you to someone else who might be able to provide the information you are looking for about the industry, company or position of interest.
This is an example of what networking is. Networking is when you start reaching out to your list of contacts to get needed information or referrals from your friends’ network of contacts. Many people are repelled by the thought of networking. Some critics of networking believe that is not a reliable as a source of information about industry, companies or job openings. Others say it is easier to keep on with the traditional job market ads than to rely on network of contacts to get the information we need as part of our job hunting efforts.
You may have not notice it, but you are already networking on a daily basis and you just don’t know it. As you go along with your daily chores, you interact with people you know; the hairdresser, the bank’s manager, your neighbors, your friends and family, your coworkers, current and former, classmates and other acquaintances. All these people, that be a potential source of information, leads and contacts for a position if interest. The make your overall networking process easier, here are some basic, but important tips:
- Make a list of your “warm contacts”
Well, Walt Disney once said the “everything begins with a mouse”. Them it comes to networking, everything begins with a list. We call this list a warm contact list as it includes people that you know and that will either take you call without much hesitation or will get back you as they know who you are. For some people, this may seem as a scary step so, as you become more ease with the process, begin with your family and closest friends and then expand your list to include other acquaintances. Remember that warm contact list includes people that know you and that you interact, compared to a cold contact list that includes people that you didn’t have any contact for a while.
- Contacting people from your network list
When you reach out to a contact from your network list a warm contact, let them know that you are actively seeking a job. Be candid on what kind of job you are looking for and ask them if they know of job openings in the area of interest you are interested in. By letting you contacts know your preference of type of position, industry and companies of interest, will allow them to help them to provide you quality information, referral or contacts. It is very important to share your contact information with your network, so they can reach you in case they hear of anything. It has been my personal experience that some of my network contacts even asked me for a copy of my resume so that can pass it along their network of contacts, so have an updated resume ready if ask you for it.