Networking your way to success

Have you ever tried referring one of your friends for a job, or been referred for one by your old college professor? Seeking employment through established contacts is one of the most effective methods of job hunting. This art of alliance building, or networking, is not a process that kicks in just when you are looking for a job, but is something you do almost subconsciously within your daily routine.

You can increase your chances of finding that dream job by contacting the peopleyou know or by joining business networking groups where you can learn about developments and potential job opportunities.

Networking Subconsciously

Networking begins long before searching for work and is not always done with the aim of using that person later on to find out about potential opportunities. Networking can be as informal as:

  • chatting with people in your dance class
  • doing social work with various people
  • voicing your appreciation of a restaurant to the owner
  • joining mailing groups
  • attending conferences
  • striking up conversations with people at your local place of worship
  • chatting with your neighbors

The ways in which to network are endless. What makes this method so effective in job hunting? The logic is quite self evident. If you had to hire a nanny to take care of your child would you not be more comfortable either hiring a person who has been referred by someone you know or hire someone who you know directly? Similarly, you would prefer hiring someone who has been referred by a current employee or someone you know.

Online Networking

There are so many ways in which to network. A particularly effective way is by meeting people online. The internet offers a certain anonymity that allows people to be more forthcoming than in a face to face meeting. However, the inability to express through body language or tone in virtual correspondence makes your use of words important in giving the right impression.

The Advantages of Networking Using the Internet

  • The internet is a rich source for networking with several discussion groups and public forums covering a vast range of topics.
  • You can 'meet' the person and get to know them before actually meeting them in person.
  • Your body language cannot be observed so your nervous twitch or inability to stop your legs from shaking cannot be seen!
  • Several companies hang around these places trying to find future employees.

However, these very advantages can be drawbacks as well. It can be as difficult to form a real personal relationship online as it is offline. The inability to see your nervous twitch may also turn out to be a drawback if the words you use reflect your confused state of mind.

Where do I start Networking?

There are several places on the internet where you can network.

Some of these are:

  • mailing lists
  • chat rooms
  • networking websites
  • public forums

These sites are often used to discuss industry developments, trends, careers and other related areas and are a rich source of information for any job seeker. Mailing lists are also great sources and by participating in one or several you gain access to great networking opportunities.

It is also important to know who to contact. It is best to look out for people who provide complete contact details and are open about the company they work for and their designation within the organization.