Job Search Tips

Networking tips: how to network to find a job

May 14, 2020

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Prefer to read? The transcript is below 🙂

Hey, it’s Iris and welcome back to my YouTube channel.

I’ve got a question for you. How do you feel about networking? Does it terrify you? Put you off? Make you think of those awful networking events where sleazy people hand you their business card as soon as they’ve introduced themselves? 

Yuk. I’ve been to a few too many of those types of events. Actually, I could’ve been to more of them, but there may have been a few times when I arrived at the venue, looked through the window, was immediately filled with terror, and turned around before I even got in. True story. 

If you can resonate with that, then today’s video is for you, my friend. 

I’m going to share how to network and build your connections in a way that doesn’t make you want to throw up. 

You might have heard that a successful job search is all about networking.

It’s estimated that between 60 – 80% of jobs never get advertised. They’re being filled internally or through companies’ immediate networks. 

And the story doesn’t end there – if a job does get advertised, it’s well-known that companies prefer to start searching for candidates in the pool of people they know or through referrals. 

In fact, recent research has shown that while only 7% of applicants come through immediate networks or referrals, this small number accounts for 40% of hires. 

So, it really pays to use your network to find a new job. 

Let me share three tips with you to help you network like a pro – and feeling comfortable about it. 

Tip #1 → Get intimate 

No…. not that kind of intimate. As if I’d ever suggest anything like that!! 

What I’m meaning is that you honestly don’t need to go to those dreadful networking events. Instead, find people you’re genuinely interested to get to know, and connect with them 1:1. 

Hop on LinkedIn and search for someone who works at, let’s say, one of your favourite companies. List a few, and then go check out their profiles, take a look at their current role, what they’ve done in the past, maybe any articles they’ve written or shared, where they studied, what LinkedIn groups they’re a member of. Try to get an idea of who they are, and then simply send a message to the person you’d genuinely like to connect with and learn more about. 

Bonus tip: ask for a 15 minute video call, so you can have an actual chat with them and really connect with them, instead of just sending them a message or email. 

You could say something along the lines of this….

Hi Jane, 

I hope you’re well. I came across your profile on LinkedIn, and would love to connect with you. I was really interested to see how you’ve progressed in your career, especially how you moved from X to Y. 

I’m a big fan of Y, and I’d love to hear from someone who actually works there what it’s like. I’m thinking about changing careers, so any insight would be really helpful and so much appreciated. 

Would you be happy to jump on a 10 – 15 minute video call, so I could ask you some questions about your experience? 

Thank you so much. 

All the best,

Iris 

Tip #2 → Be interested, not interesting 

One of the easiest ways to connect with people and build a bond with them, is by being interested in them and asking them questions. 

Think about it…. 

How does it make you feel when you meet someone, and they can’t stop talking about themselves and all the things they’ve done… most of us will find this really awkward and will want to run away from that person as fast as we can. 

On the flip side, how does it make you feel when you meet someone, and they ask you questions, engage in a conversation and seem genuinely interested in you…. Not because they want to get something from you, but they just seem interested in what you have to say. Doesn’t that make you feel good? 

The problem is, a lot of people get really nervous when they think about networking. They feel like they need to be interesting, that they need to have something witty or insightful to say. 

But research has shown that we tend to like and connect with people who show an interest in us. 

So instead of trying to make a good impression, focus on learning more about the other person. 

Don’t think about what you’re doing as networking, think about it as connecting. Because that’s really what you’re doing. Connecting with another human being.

You don’t need to impress, just be present, and be interested. 

Tip #3 → Give give give 

As a rule of thumb, you should begin with connecting with people and building those relationships before you need anything from them. 

Don’t connect with someone with the expectation to get something in return. Don’t ask for a job, or if they can put you forward to the recruiter or hiring manager. 

You’ve not built that kind of bond yet or the credit yet to go and ask for that. 

At first, focus on helping or adding value to the person you’re connecting with. Be generous with your time, knowledge, and support.

There are many ways in which you can do this.

For example,  

  • introduce them to someone in your network they might want to collaborate or work with, or could learn from

  • post a thoughtful comment on an article they wrote, show them you appreciate their work

  • share articles they’ve written

  • support them with charitable events they’re organising or when they’re raising money for a good cause

  • share articles, books or podcast you think they’ll enjoy (personally or professionally) 

  • leave a review for their book/podcast

  • Offer your time, knowledge or skills to help them out with a side-project

Realise that just because they might have more experience, skills or knowledge in their field of work than you do, doesn’t mean that you can’t add value to them. There are numerous other ways that you can be helpful to them. 

So, how does that sound? Little bit better than going to a networking event?

Remember, what you’re doing here is going to serve you in the long run, it’s going to help you to be in the right place, at the right time, so when opportunities do come up, you already know the people who might be able to help you or get you in. 

Thank you so much for watching. 

If you liked this video, click that thumbs up button and the bell right next to it. 

Also, if you want to find out more about free online training that I offer to help you find your passion, and make it your work, hop on over to irissmyth.com and sign up to receive my emails.

Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you again soon! 

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