Companies of all sizes encourage customers to refer friends with the hope of generating new revenue. Many people feel comfortable receiving information from a friend or colleague they trust rather than a stranger or unfamiliar business. The same is true when you seek new employment. Networking can bring tremendous rewards for job seekers because it is a way to earn instant credibility.
Where to Network
Networking is most effective when you know what industry you want to pursue. Finding association meetings where prospective employers may frequent can help you increase your chances of making good connections. Cold calls and emails often go ignored. Networking allows you to generate a warm lead before pursuing a job while gaining vital information. However, the environment must be conducive to networking. Events with loud music or ones that require complete silence, such as a movie screening, are generally not good places to network.
Networking is beneficial for finding a new job because you can generate multiple job leads in one place without having to scour the Internet or job ads for resources. According to Quint Careers, most job openings are never advertised, but filled through networking. Having casual conversations with other professionals can provide a wealth of information with little effort. Keep a notepad and pen handy to write notes on the back of business cards regarding job leads you find in your interaction with other professionals.
Job candidates can exaggerate claims or falsify information on resumes or in interviews to entice the employer into hiring them. Outside of a time consuming background and referral check, employers have few ways of determining whether or not the candidate's claims are true. Networking is a great way to get a job because you have the opportunity to establish relationships and gain credibility with your future colleagues.
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As your colleagues become comfortable with you and get to know your character, they are more likely to believe your statements about your abilities without feeling the need to verify every claim. Use this to your advantage to get leads to position openings or even get an interview with your employer of choice.
Unlike a resume, networking allows you to demonstrate confidence and poise. Employers can see how you interact with others and how you present yourself. Job interviews make many people nervous which can hinder their ability to make a good impression. With networking, the casual environment can lead to hours of conversation with a potential employer since no strings are attached. There are no hiring laws the employer must adhere to network with you leading to a more natural conversation than in an interview. Even if you are unable to generate leads from your networking, the advice you receive from other professionals is priceless. Use it to hone your resume and approach to finding a new position.