Network your way to a New Job

By John Focht

Even with all the technological tools and websites available, networking remains the one of the most effective ways to find a new job.  The old adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is still prevalent in today’s work place.

Most hiring manager’s want to bring in “their people” when they move to a new company.  Staying in contact with former managers is important, especially if you were one of their go-to employees.

Linked-In is a great tool to build your network of contacts.  Linked-In provides the opportunity to connect with current co-workers, as well as co-workers from previous employments.  Building a network of contacts allows you to see who works where now.

If you see jobs posted on a company website where you know one or a few people in your network now work, reach out to those contacts there to see if they can submit your name to the hiring manager or recruiter.

Many companies today have referral programs within their organization.  Referral programs allow employees to refer outside candidates to job opening’s inside the company.  If that new person is hired and remains in the job for a certain period of time, the person who made the referral receives a compensation.

Despite the abundance of job postings on career builder websites and job posting websites, a number of jobs are sometimes not posted.  Reaching out to your contacts in your network and letting them know that you are in the market may also get you the inside-scoop on unadvertised jobs within their company.

Of course, networks only get you in the door.  Be sure your resume and Linked-In profile are created and updated with your most recent job activities.  You don’t want to make your contact look bad by not having your stuff together; that person will never refer you again if you leave them looking bad.

Also, prepare yourself for the interview.  Have five printed copies of your resume available with you. Be aware of what is on your resume and be prepared to speak to those items.  Nothing looks worse on a candidate than not knowing what is on their own resume.

Finally, do some homework prior to the interview and research the company.  Not being prepared to speak about what you know about the company, or have intelligent questions about the company, is a sure way to have your interview ended a few minutes early.

Reach out to your contacts.  If you are not on Linked-In, sign-up today. Build your network database before you hit the proverbial job pavement.  While you might be tops in what you do, it’s always good to have someone pulling for you from the inside.