Chris Rath writes, "The value of your network, even after separation, can lead to opportunities you never expected. Many companies receive thousands of applicants. Responding to every candidate is impossible and positions are competitive. The key is to network so the opportunities find YOU. In the service, your network grew with each assignment and just happened by design of your career. In your job search, you are connecting in a new area. Here are 5 ways to re-energize your networking techniques to be successful in your job search:
- You can’t just put your profile on LinkedIn and then wait. Actively engaging is important. Many employers have LinkedIn groups, webinars, virtual office hours with recruiters, and other social/virtual recruiting strategies. Use those platforms to standout by asking questions and showing up to those events.
- Who do you know? Your friends who separated now have jobs which mean they are working with hiring managers who need to fill jobs. So what if a friend left a company that you are interested in or that the person you know is just an acquaintance? They are now with another company who may have a job for you. Make a list of the folks you know and ask them to share your resume. Don’t hesitate. People like to help people.
- Seek opportunities where employers will be present. From job fairs to workshops, these are opportunities to meet other employees from companies who can now be a part of your network. Don’t beat yourself up if you cannot go to all of them. While company representatives may not necessarily be hiring for your skills, they often go back to their organization and share your resume. In other instances, employers send the same representatives to all events. Guess what? The more you go, the more you see them, and now they know you.
- Follow Up…and continue the conversation. I don’t mean call someone and talk forever. Whether you met at a job fair, workshop, or a virtual event – get contact info and follow up. Use the opportunity to navigate further into companies’ networks. Ask if there are upcoming events or another contact to help you learn more about a company. When you meet with that new contact or attend the next event, repeat the process. Similar to the thank you note, a follow up is memorable and strengthens your connection.
- Take it easy. Stay positive. Don’t give up."