No one can ignore the importance of networking for career development. The competition has increased a lot these days, and you won’t get a job call while having popcorn at home. Only sending resumes won’t help.
You need to go out, meet with friends, people you know, meet with few more and be informed about opportunities.
It has become a lot like dating where you get introduced to many people. And in the same way, employers like to know about new potentials.
With a little know-how, searching for jobs and networking with people can be fun. Once you have some jobs networking gets a lot easier. You help people, and you get help in return (in the form of recommendations). Let’s explore how can networking help you find a job.
Following are some of the advantages you get with networking:
• You may find about a job offer before it is posted. This way, you get a head-start in the competition. Maintain proper contact with people, and they will return the favour soon.
• A good network keeps you informed about the market and better opportunities for growth, in the same industry or other. New ideas and new perspectives can be found anywhere.
• For a fresher, a broad network is of great help. It would be profitable to attain the events and socialize. Offering help to those in need will let them know you. You can land a good project soon if people know you.
• Having a good relationship with others in your team can help you learn from them, their business techniques. You have a better chance of getting introductions with your own community helping you.
• With a network built on trust, you can have something already lined up, in times of need. It can save you some work and a lot of time that would have gone in search. Be sure to thank them appropriately.
How to develop networking skills
Networking is taking help from people in your life – both professional and personal – to find (better) job opportunities.
Even if they aren’t of any direct help, they can give you a direction. Networking is the backbone of your career. While many can be naturally good at networking, others find it difficult cultivating it.
It is one of the most valuable skills you need for a successful career, and you have to keep improving it. It is a constant work until you decide to retire. Following are some of the strategies you can undertake to form a better network:
• Build trust – When taking help from someone from your professional life, don’t take them for granted. Let them trust you, and they can be a lot more helpful than you think.
• Have friends – Although the people you know from work are excellent, having friends in the similar profession is of great help. Your friends and family members may have their own networks which can aid you further.
• Keep in touch – Take the help of websites and stay in contact with your friends and colleagues (even from the previous jobs). Occasional calls and emails also, won’t hurt. If you contact your network only when you need work, they will feel exploited. It would work magic if you can find time to keep up with their life events.
• Socialise – The best way to network is by attending events. Go out with your mates, and you may meet new friends or make new contacts. Let people know that you are looking for a job.
• Be helpful – Be of some help to the people in your network. People reciprocate better in such cases. Refer them to others, help them expand their network or just provide valuable information at times. If you think an article can be helpful for someone, forward it to them. These little gestures are noted.
• Give credit – Last but not the least, include them in resume those who helped. The practice of attaching a reference list is, however, obsolete and is no longer considered in “What should a resume include?” But do mention them, when asked. This secures you a place in the interviewer’s good books. Ask the people beforehand though, if they won’t mind getting a mention. Some of them want to be anonymous.
The importance of a LinkedIn profile
People use LinkedIn for professional (social) networking. Employers search out for people who can be a good fit.
So, it’s advisable that you do not forget to add relevant keywords and enlist your skills. These keywords are one among the others helping you get in the searches.
With a link to your profile on LinkedIn, resume has better chances to get on the shortlist. It shows you are professional. But just having a profile won’t help, make sure it is complete with relevant details.