People like to hire people they know. Research has shown that a job candidate referred by a current employee or contact of a hiring manager is likely to be a strong candidate that fits with the team culture. Plus, internal referrals tend to stay at a position longer so it is a better investment for the company.

Who do you know? Do they know that you are looking for a new position?

Your single best resource in your job search is the people you know. It is time to start engaging with your contacts so that they can assist you in your job-search efforts. The key to remember is that networking is not asking people to get you a job; rather it is a process of asking for assistance with gathering “AIR”:

  • Advice: “Can you tell me the best way to apply for a position at your company?”
  • Information: “From your perspective, what are the the skills most in demand for someone in your field?”
  • Referrals: “Do you know someone working in the field of (insert industry) with whom I might be able to connect with for more information?”

By asking your network these types of questions you are able to interact with them, learn from them, and let them know that you are currently looking for new opportunities without asking for them a job.

Networking: Five-Step Process

  1. Make a list of the people you know; your family, friends, coworkers, clients, and managers (review your social media accounts, email address book, and personal address book).
  2. Come up with a short statement about yourself.
  3. Think of a question you want to ask your contact (AIR).
  4. Make contact. You can call, email, or post an update on LinkedIn.
  5. Be amazed by the number of people who respond and are willing to assist you in moving forward.

Download a packet of networking tools to help you navigate the networking process.

The key to remember is that most often your direct network will not have a job to offer you, since they are not likely the hiring manager. Your contacts are the bridge to the person who will most likely hire you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start networking! Here is a list of local networking opportunities.

Are you interested in taking your networking to the next level?

Do you consider yourself an introvert? Does the idea of networking cause you stress? If so, check out our Networking Tips For Introverts!