Check out my latest video as I discuss the importance of networking for recent graduates. You have to learn how to network. In this video I share why it is important and places you can look for networking opportunities.
1) Diving into something new to boost your talent in your career, or beef up your skills, is also a good way to network. You can meet new people in the firm that you may not have, or clients you’re working with who you haven’t interacted with before. This can increase your list of networking contacts in this new area of skill for you.
2) Remember to mention what you accomplished on new projects in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile. We often don’t update our resume for years if we’ve been in the same position for a long time. Keep your resume fresh. Make a task to update it every 6 months so you don’t forget anything. Updating your resume doesn’t mean that you want to leave your job. You can also use these stories or examples in a performance review. It helps you remember to keep track of your performance.
3) Be willing to say “No” as well. If a project isn’t going to directly boost your career and may end up being a drain on your time, say no and be confident with that decision! Realize your time is valuable and that you want to spend it on productive activities.
If you’d like more help with your resume, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
I have a lot of career coaching clients who tend to be resistant to networking. This is a problem because networking is key to an effective job search. One common reason that I hear from clients is that they feel inauthentic and they feel like they are not being themselves when they are networking. They feel like they have to be someone else to make a good impression. I also hear excuses such as they don’t know what to say, or they don’t want to network outside of friends and family. It usually comes down to what they are most comfortable with.
I understand that sometimes networking pushes you out of your comfort zone, but trust me, it is well worth it! Here are some reasons why it’s important for job seekers to step up and network:
70-80% of jobs are secured through the hidden job market; networking is one big way to tap into that.
Some employers are using LinkedIn for 80% of their recruiting efforts.
Networking takes the most time but has the highest payoff, and helps with a more focused search instead of papering the job boards. It creates a more targeted search with the companies you want to work for.
It will help you with job skills as well. Knowing hot to network is a needed skill outside of job searching.
You’ll build your confidence overall as you improve it through your networking efforts.
Preparing for networking builds confidence while helping you identify your skills and talents. This can help you with the interview process as well.
Find a way to network authentically. You need to have a good understanding of your personality type and how you best connect with other people. Are you better one-on-one? In small groups rather than large groups? Do you prefer casual situations versus social situations? Things are things to figure out to help you get on track with networking strategy.
If you’d like more help with your networking strategy, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
I was recently on a group coaching call where we discussed how to research a company and its work environment. We really focused on how to get true answers, and how to really know in an interview if the company is putting its best foot forward.
Here are some tips to help you find out what it is really like to work for a specific company:
Talk to your friends! Find out if they know someone who works there, whether it’s through their circle of friends or their LinkedIn network.
Once you have a connection to the company, ask what the work environment is like and what the culture is about. Be sure to ask specific questions like, “What is the management’s style?” or “What is the company’s values?”
Ask if you can meet with people you will be working with, as well as your prospective boss.
When you go for the interview, pay attention to how it feels to be in the office. Are people hurried and running around. Do they stop to say hello? What is the pace? How does it feel to be there?
Pay attention to the décor and office feel. Are the furniture and decorations stuffy, or more creative? Is it a formal or informal environment?
Go to glassdoor.com to read reviews, but use it with a grain of salt. Sometimes ex-employees might write something that isn’t actual reflective of the company because they are upset about something. So while it’s a great place to look, just be sure you do additional homework. Here is a helpful application for glassdoor.com.
Set up a Google alert to track what is being said about that specific company.
If you’re interested in learning more about career coaching, please contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
1. Assume that your resume is going to get you the job. Act as if your resume is the end all be all or the magic wand to you job search
The Truth: You need to have a great interview and follow up. The resume just gets your foot in the door.
2. Blanket online job boards with your resume. Apply for any job that looks remotely appealing.
The Truth: You need to actually be interested in the jobs you apply for. Only apply to jobs that you are actually interested in AND that you are qualified for.
3. Keep your job search a secret. You don’t tell anyone that you are searching because you are afraid to ask for help. Don’t ask for networking contacts or assistance, just keep it to yourself.
The Truth: You need to network, network, network! Utilize your friends, family, and acquaintances to establish networking contacts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You never know who might be able to get you connected with your dream job.
4. Be resistant to working with a recruiter (recruiters are part of hidden job market).
The Truth: You need to be willing and open to working with them. Some will be a better fit, but don’t discount value.
5. Don’t set up a LinkedIn profile. Don’t keep it updated.
The Truth: Some employers say that 80% of their recruiting efforts are conducted on LinkedIn alone. You can’t ignore it and you have to have a GOOD profile. If there are a lot of candidates out there and your profile is better, they will remember yours.
I was very excited to featured in my first HuffingtonPost.com article, 5 Job-Finding Strategies That Work: Beyond the Basics. One point that I’d like do add is that I’ve noticed how much my career coaching clients tend to resist networking. My client Ben in California recently said he that doesn’t like networking. It makes him feel inauthentic and he’s trying to be someone he isn’t. I explained to him that there is a way to approach networking where you can still be yourself but push yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit to be more assertive.
The goal isn’t to just meet as many people as possible. Set a goal to connect on more personal level with a couple of networking connections. Remember, quality versus quantity. Don’t feel like you hand everyone your business card, do it selectively. Think about your personality type. Are you the kind of person would you rather talk about personal versus business? If so, bring that up first. If you are a more shy personality, go with someone who has knows your networking connection, and who can introduce you.
You don’t have to be the picture networker that you picture in your head. Just be yourself and talk to people. Find a common ground that makes it more comfortable for everybody involved.
A friend of mine who is a recruiter told me that some days he spends up to 10 hours a day on LinkedIn trying to find job candidates. Did you hear that? 10 hours! LinkedIn is vital to your professional career and your job search. It is not just about connecting and making networking contacts. Companies and recruiters actively search for qualified candidates all the time one LinkedIn. It’s easier than going to the HR department and asking them to release a job opening.
Don’t forget to utilize your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it is up to date and is potential employer friendly. You should review and update your profile every few months just to make sure you have your best foot forward. We are excited about our new LinkedIn product where you can learn how to effectively leverage LinkedIn for your job search and ongoing professional development. You can learn more about it here.
If you’d like more one-on-one help with your job search, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
Mercer offers my career coaching services to students who are part of their MBA program. In this success story, my client leveraged her MBA courses, her network and me as her career coach. Remember, the best way to kick-start your career is by leveraging the resources available to you.
Click here to learn more about how to best leverage your career resources and your career coach. If you are interested in career coaching, please contact us here today!
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