Networking for a job can be a very daunting task. For some, looking for a job is very time consuming. If you are this kind of person, you have to work hard earning experiences and credentials to be able to get your dream job. But the truth is, it takes more than great credentials and flawless resumes to get the job that you want.
For some people, the best way to get a job opportunity involves developing and maintaining reciprocal relationships. Those relationships open job networks which lead to job opportunities.
According to Auburn University's Career & Placement Services, "At least 2/3 of the job market is in small companies that normally neither advertise openings nor recruit on college campuses, leaving 60-75% of jobs in the hidden job market that can only be achieved through networking."
Job Networking is particularly helpful in fields where newbies cannot easily break into.
While these jobs are never listed or mentioned on job boards or in the newspapers, the job openings in this field are filled by people knowing other people. This method of job hunting does not mean that you have to go directly to the hiring managers of the key companies that you are targeting. It is all about building and establishing professional relationships with people in your sphere of influence.
Being part of a networking group means working with a variety of people over a period of time and developing friendships and professional relationships. This entails years of work experience where you have built credibility, which can be verified by the very people making up that network. In maintaining healthy professional relationships with these people, they can easily consider you for certain job openings, most of which are not publicized and are for a limited period of hiring only. So when the time comes when you are in need for a new job, these are the people who are most likely to help you.
Reaping the benefits of being part of a network takes time. Before you enjoy the gains of getting exclusive tips on meeting the right people and knowing the people who might help land you a scheduled job interview, you have to prove your worth first. Most of the time, the people who are involved in your networking circle are previously or currently co-workers, friends, neighbors, members of your church, etc. You spend time helping them and when you need help, they will be ready to help you.
So how exactly can you keep in touch with the people in your network? The first key is keeping good contact information. The second key is remembering people - making occasional phone calls or sending occasional greetings in e-mails or snail mails. For instance, if you see an article that a particular friend would be interested in, email it to them. If your network lives in the same area where you live, it would be helpful and fun to arrange for some gatherings where you can keep up with everybody - sharing personal and professional information.
Networking happens everywhere - from bookstores, cafes, and coffee shops to country clubs, golfing and home barbeques. The key is never rule out anyone. Get to know as many people as you can because you will never know who they might know.
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