In this series of posts about the steps to job success its time to focus on how to network for job success. So here are my thoughts on what jobseeking members of LinkedIn should do first to begin a successful job hunt?

Victoria Ipri said “LinkedIn is all about demonstrating one’s value to a network of (hopefully) interested and likeminded people.” And its true that networking, whether face to face or virtually, is a vital tool in your job hunting kit.

Orville Pierson, author of Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great Job points out that “in tough times, employers cut back on recruiting spending. Online listings, job fairs, campus recruiting and print ads all decrease. So networking becomes even more important.”

So look at your networks now and break it down into lists:

  • social contacts at sports clubs, parents at school, neighbours, volunteer organisations.
  • (ex) work contacts, not just your last job, but jobs before that.
  • study contact, people you went to school/college/university with.
  • Social media networks, friends on facebook, LinkedIn, gamers, where ever you hang out online.

When you have listed all the networks you have, think about all the contacts you have made in each of the networks. You may have strong bonds with some of them, you may have had fleeting contact with others, but in total you will have many people in your networks and each one can potentially help you towards your next job.

There are some networks you can tap into immediately and directly, updating and completing your internet profiles, and beginning to interact with those online contacts is a great start.

Talking to people face to face about your search for work can be difficult, so its a good idea to rehearse what you want to tell people about your situation. and don’t hold back on  being specific about what they can do for you, either. If someone offers the contact name to approach in a company, don’t just take the name, ask if they can get in touch with them on your behalf.

Don’t abuse your networks, or get slapdash with them, but don’t be shy about making more than one approach, especially if you have been out of work for some time. As time goes by, you may get more focus on what sort of work you would like to do, and you need to communicate this to all your networks, keep them up to date with your plans.

Think about building your networks, and growing new ones. LinkedIn and Facebook have many discussion groups where you can interact as well as showcase your skills.

Its hard to keep focus and enthusiasm when your efforts don’t seem to be bringing results, so consider beginning a new volunteer project, or joining in a regular sporting activity. It will help you keep active and help you recharge your batteries as well as opening new social networks to you.

If you have enjoyed this post, read the other two in this series:

If these posts have raised questions you would like to discuss further, contact me directly on info@knowboundaries.nl or ring me on +31 624161961.