You know the job-hunting process:
And then, nothing.
You feel tired, frustrated and your self-esteem begins to drop.
You start wondering if suffering is an unavoidable part of getting that first job.
It’s not if you know what to do. You are about to discover how you can find a job the stress-free way by networking.
If you don’t know how to network effectively, you are closing doors to opportunities when you could be opening them.
1 Find the right people
Who are the right people? Those who have the jobs you would like to have. How do you find them and start a connection?
By following these steps:
● Do some research and come up with the companies you would like to work for. It doesn’t matter if they are not hiring right now;what’s truly important is that you are interested in them.
● Find people who work in those companies and contact them via LinkedIn.
● Send them a message explaining who you are, why you are contacting them and what you need from them.
● Prepare relevant questions to ask them. By asking for specific advice, you increase your chances of getting an answer.
For example, if you ask a front end developer that uses React how to solve a problem in React, chances are you will get their attention. If you have lots of questions, instead of overwhelming a person with all of them, ask many different people. This is something to take into account though: not everyone is going to reply and be willing to help you. Don’t take it personally: some people simply don’t have time. But many will be delighted to help you.
2 Stay in touch
Ask the right people if they would mentor you. Give them options to make the decision easier for them. For example:
Staying in touch is key to building a relationship, which is what you want to do. Should you keep in touch with the right people after you’ve found a job? Of course! You need to stay in touch even when you’ve found a job, because they are the people who will help you learn, be aware of what’s happening outside your company, and who may introduce you to their companies in the future and endorse you for new opportunities.
At the end of the day, your network is the best investment you can make for your career.
I will say that again: your network is the best investment you can make for your career. It is that important.
In fact, it should be part of your career development plan.
Take networking seriously, and start early. Say, for example, that in six months you will finish your studies or will look for a new job.
If you already have a network, you will be a step ahead.
3 Be active on social media
Being active on social media puts your name out there, which is a benefit because:
Here’s what you can do:
Start with small things, build a habit and make it grow. Creating content is a job in itself and it takes time, so it’s better to start with baby steps.
4 Keep an eye out for opportunities
You’ve done the foundation work: you’ve made a list of the companies you are interested in, contacted people who work there, and built relationships with them. Now what? Even if those companies are not hiring at the moment, when they are, chances are that those people you are in touch with will remember and recommend you.
They will know who you are, and that is an advantage. When you want to apply for open jobs in these companies or others, make sure you share your story and your learning process.
Instead of saying what you can do, show it. Share your blogs, your open source projects, and your knowledge in your local tech industry. If you have, let’s say, ten mentors in ten different companies, chances are you know what’s going on in the industry and what the challenges and trends are, which will work to your advantage: you can know what is needed and what you have to do to get ready for it.
So, to recap
Companies want to hire the best person, and you want to get the best job. You know the process by heart:
But what do the parties involved get out of it?
So, it is clear that the typical process is not enough.
Here is where networking comes to the rescue. Networking works well because through it, you build a relationship with people working in companies you are interested in, which is a benefit for both parties since:
this is a great time-saver for everyone.
Is suffering an unavoidable part of getting that first job? Not if you know what to do, and now you know.
Follow these steps to network effectively, and the doors of opportunities will open.