The Top 5 Ways Your Personal Network Can Help You Find Your Dream Job
The coronavirus pandemic, which broke out in early 2020 and is still wreaking havoc around the world, caused many people to lose their jobs. In a global economic scenario where unemployment rates are already high, this meant that employees struggled to pick themselves up and find other suitable jobs fast.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, then don’t despair: you are in the right place. Our guide right here will help you learn how to leverage your personal network of contacts to land your next job. Ready to take notes?
- Unlock the Power of Social Media
To begin with, a good idea is to have a look at your social media contacts. Facebook, Instagram, and, of course, LinkedIn are great places to start. Whether you already know the name of the person that you want to contact, or if you need to scroll through a longer list, make sure that you invest enough time in doing a bit of research beforehand.
For example: what is this person doing for a living at the moment? How do you think they might be able to help you? And also, a very important thing to ask yourself: do you feel comfortable contacting them, or do you think it will look a bit awkward?
Remember: you’ll want to get in touch with someone that you know, but that you have also had some kind of connection with in the recent past, as well as a good overall relationship. It’s unlikely that your six grade friend that you used to mock for wearing glasses and is now a big fish in the industry you’re targeting will want to help (or even remember you!).
So, choose your contacts very carefully, be mindful of their own lives and circumstances, and prepare a nice message that breaks the ice in a spontaneous way, without necessarily stating that you need their help in finding a job.
- Be Helpful...
Speaking of help: just because you are networking with the aim of finding a job, it doesn’t mean that you, too, can’t help the person that you decide to contact. For example, they might have a great job but, perhaps, their other half has recently left them. Show them that you can be there for them, offer them support if they need it, and just generally make sure that it’s not all about you.
Or, what if they might need help with other areas of their life in which you are particularly skilled? For example, you love fitness and they need to get back in shape. What about they join you on your morning runs, or come to you to those great Pilates classes that you have been telling them about?
Networking is, after all, another type of relationship. And just like any other relationship, to be successful it needs to include mutual respect, support, and encouragement.
- ... And Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help
When networking for a job, there is no reason to shy away from asking one of your contacts for practical help. Try to push your pride to one side, and say things the way they are: you have lost your job, and are in need of practical help to find a new, better one.
It’s also important to be able to articulate to your contacts the type of support that you might need from them. Is it just about connecting you to a specific person? Or, are you looking for someone who is expert in reviewing resumes and helping with filling out job applications?
Whatever it is, letting them know is crucial as it will enable you to understand whether they can effectively give you a hand, while also not wasting their time if they can’t.
- Organize to Meet in Person
While you might not think about this as an immediate possibility, face-to-face meetings with your network of contacts are a great way to help you land a great job. Of course, because the coronavirus pandemic is still causing certain restrictions to social events and meetings outside of your household, you are going to need to be careful.
For example, you might want to ask your contact to meet outdoors – at a park or café, for example. Or, if you know your contact pretty well and have a nice garden, why not invite them over to yours and organize a work meeting in your patio?
Just remember that you will need to comply with social distancing rules, frequent handwashing and, if required, mask wearing. But once you have taken care of this, your face-to-face meeting will be an invaluable opportunity to discuss your needs, challenges, and goals in more detail, and for your contact to provide more targeted advice and practical support.
- Remember to Nurture the Personal Relationship, Too
When networking with the aim of finding a job, we might lose track of something very important: the emotional aspect of the process. Yes, both you and your contact know that the main goal of your meetings and conversations is to help you in a professional way. However, don’t forget that the other person might also expect something from you.
Generally speaking, you will always need to be polite, kind, and never insistent with them. In addition, you might want to treat them to the occasional coffee or lunch – and remember to always ask about them, their life, and how they are doing.
Of course, if you do end up landing an amazing job thanks to them, don’t forget to send them a lovely “thank you” note, complete with a gift. Flowers, chocolates, wines, or anything else that you think they will appreciate is a great idea. Leverage the personal knowledge you have of them to help you with choosing a present that is unique, personalized, and truly meets their taste.
Ready to Find the Best Job for You?
Setting out on a job search might feel like mission impossible, these days. Instead of getting yourself stressed out about it, and obsessing over your resume and a tonne of job applications, start simple: do a bit of networking.
Getting in touch with people you know and who might have the right contacts to help you get a great job, in fact, is a fantastic way to job-hunt.
Remember, though, that you’ll want to push feelings such as pride and insecurity to the side, in favor of confidence and positivity. You’ll also need to keep nurturing the relationship you have with the person you have contacted, especially if you have known them for a while and they are important to you.
By following these tips, you will be well on your way towards your dream job. What are you waiting for? Start networking today!
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