Monday, October 31, 2011

Job & Career Networking

The ultimate goal of networking is learning how to develop contacts with the right people who can advance your career, or refer you to the hiring manager who has the job you really want.

The best way to connect your cover letter and resume to your dream job is by networking. What's networking? Networking simply means telling people that you are looking for a job and enlisting them into your job search team.

It is a focused way of developing and building a group of contacts; people who can provide career information that can lead to a new or better job. It can include advice, recommendations, or actually being hired. Each person you meet and have contact with brings you one step closer to getting the job you want.

These people can include your family, friends, neighbors, people you knew at school, former co-workers and professional people like doctors and lawyers. Even if you don't know people very well, most are willing to help if you ask.

Ask the people in your network if they know about any openings. Also ask them to ask their friends, family and co-workers about any possibilities. Research shows that this "third level" can yield results. You will often find a job not through who you know, but through someone that your friend or contact knows.

The Benefits of Networking

If you are serious about finding the best position for your next career move in a timely manner, you must network.

At least 60 percent of job openings in the U.S. are not filled through advertising, recruiters or other traditional methods. They are filled through networking and informal contacts. The goal is to move into the hidden, un-advertised job market, using every available resource that contact with other people will provide you.

Current employees are among the best sources of referrals. Many firms report that 40 to 50 percent of their openings are filled by candidates referred to by staff members. Moreover, companies view such candidates more favorably than those brought in through other methods, because they already know something about the organization and have a personal connection with it.

Brief Statements, BIG Results

Prepare 5 to 10-second statements about yourself and what you have to offer.

It's not enough to have great talents and qualifications to get a job. You have to sound great too! Your opening statement sets the tone for your entire job search strategy. Take Networking for example. Knowing how to ask for, and receive, the valuable information you require is the key to finding the right job.

Delivering 5 to 10-second statements that instantly brings into focus the information you desire is critical to your success. Preparing these brief statements is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort summarizing who you are and what you want. However, your efforts will be rewarded as your listener's will recognize your professionalism and be more willing to help. By skipping this essential step, your chances for success will greatly diminish.

Most job hunters have difficulty describing their area of specialty.

Ask a member of the Career Playbook Team what they do and you might hear, "We help people develop action plans and strategies to succeed in their job search and get the results they want fast". If delivered properly, your listener will ask a follow-up question, such as; Tell me more, or, How do you do that?

An accountant might say, "I'm a Certified Public Accountant. My specialty is business and tax planning. I'm currently looking for a CFO position with an organization that wants to improve their bottom line".

A person in sales might say, "I'm a sales manager with proven experience hiring, training and motivating successful sales teams. I'm looking for a management opportunity helping a company grow sales and open new revenue streams".

Brief statements are a consequence of the breakneck speed of today's business world, as time and attention spans are far too short. It's hard to be concise. But the less you say, the more you are understood.

That's why reporters quote experts who are quotable! They only have a small amount of space to write 
their story, so they need to be concise. If you have this skill, you will be more successful in your job search.

On average, statements of about five to ten seconds translate into approximately 15 to 30 words. Therefore, carefully choosing the right words to create effective statements is vital. With practice, and knowledge about what you want from your networking contacts, most people will be only too happy to help you.