The Power of Networking and Being Direct!
Some weeks ago I published a short column in Czech newspaper. The piece was mainly dedicated to the importance of networking, so let me sum up the main points in this message.
Source: Own archive, article published by MF DNES.
- Do not count just on internet!
Internet is the most usual way of searching for jobs for young people in generation Y. It is almost automatic – when you seek for a job, you simply go and use your browser. Even though this job search technique seems pretty easy to access, it is unfortunately one of the least effective ways of looking for a job; mainly because the majority of vacancies are actually not advertised. Richard Bolles in his book ‘What Color Is Your Parachute’ says that only 4-10 % of job seekers who are using internet are actually successful. In fact there are some marvelous stories of job seekers for whom it worked (it worked pretty well for me 3 years ago ;). But it turns out that actually it does not work for the vast majority of us. Therefore, relying purely on internet might be risky. Internet search is fine if you combine it with another technique. Continue to the next two points, as this may suggest you some.
- Get used to networking as student
Networking is an overused word. We use it without actually knowing what it means to us and how to do it efficiently. To make networking effective, you must always think of what are the benefits for both sides. Networking has to be WIN-WIN situation. Thus, show your interest and think of some concrete help you can offer to your new contact; perhaps some specific knowledge. For example, you know about some research that was conducted in that field which is common for both of you. You can help by sharing your contacts or useful links. Test yourself in networking while being still student – at conferences, internships, job fairs, studies abroad… When you graduate, you won’t end up with a blank contact list and your job search will be much easier. Just this will give you a psychological advantage over others.
- Don’t wait and approach employers directly
And my last point is about proactivity. Employers won’t create jobs for you when you need them; it will be quite opposite. So don’t wait for them and be proactive. Here is where we reach Richard Bolles’ list of the most effective job search techniques. 47 – 70 % of job seekers who approach employers directly are successful in their job search. The % of success only depends on your strategy: Whether you simply start knocking on employers’ doors without any preparation; or you search for some specific field and location; or you do this exercise actually within a supportive focus group (perhaps a job search club). In any case, by approaching employers directly, you will get the closest to your employment. Start with this: Create own self-presentation and with your resume and cover letter send it to your chosen employer. If you want, you may try to make a call and get connected with the HR department. If you hesitate, try professional networks like LinkedIn first. Quite easily, you will be able to find HR contacts from variety of firms.
Remember, that the most of vacancies are not advertised. Employers don’t like strangers. They always rather promote somebody internally or give a chance to the folk with recommendation from an internal employee. So you might never get to know about jobs which you would enjoy doing, unless you actually start networking and approaching employers directly.
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