Networking is by far the best way to land a job or internship. Approximately 70-80% of jobs are found through networking.
Networking is creating a group of contacts who provide you with helpful information related to your career, your job search, and/or the industry or profession you plan to enter. Your goal is really to create a relationship, rather than to get something. Most people are eager to help others and over time you will realize that you too have much to offer those with whom you network.
Hidden job market
It is estimated that 80% of jobs are filled by companies who never advertise the position and are filled by referral, or the "who do you know" method of recruitment. So while keeping an eye on job posting sites and newspaper ads is important, the percentages are in your favor if you utilize the hidden job market.
The best way to find the hidden job market is by:
- Identifying types of employers you are interested in
- Find specific potential employers
- Finding contacts within the target employer
Who should be in your network?
- Work Supervisor
- Professionals whose services you use
How do you build a larger network? Where?
- Blugold Success Stories
- Professional Associations
- Campus events - speakers, workshops
- Career Fairs
Rules for networking
- Don't ask ask for a position. Rather, ask for help and advice.
- If you're contacting someone who doesn't know you, introduce yourself succinctly. Tell the person how, where or from whom you got her name and why you are contacting her.
- Be polite and use good manners and good interpersonal skills. Make a good impression.
- Stay positive. Even if job searching is getting you down, don't let it show. No one wants to hire (or recommend) someone who has a gloomy attitude. On the other hand, enthusiasm and positive attitude are infectious.
- Be articulate and ask intelligent questions.
- Thank everyone and keep in contact to let them know your progress. Write thank you letters to anyone who spoke with you. Leave a good impression.
How to network
- Contact these people and tell them you are graduating soon (or seeking an internship). Have prepared approximately a 10 second explanation of the kind of job that you are seeking.
- Ask if they can suggest someone for you to talk to who has a connection with the industry or position that you have identified. If you have a particular organization in mind, ask if they know anyone within that organization.
- Ask them to keep you in mind should they hear of any positions or prospects and offer to send them a copy of your resume.
- Develop a prospect list and contact each of the individuals to whom you have been referred, mentioning the referring party's name if you have been given permission to do so.
- Ask each of them for a referral and ask them to keep you in mind should they hear of anything. Offer to send your resume.
How to find potential employers
- Tapping into your network of professional and personal contacts to identify potential employers and conduct some information interviews.
- Searching job search sites to find positions that use your skill sets. What types of employers are hiring those positions?
- Search the Chambers of Commerce for the city or region in which you are interested.