Social networking plays a key role in many of our lives. It has almost become essential to be active on social media given the current trends in professional sectors. This has naturally resulted in an expansion in our list of contacts. Today our communication network has spread far and wide, and even beyond borders! This can turn out to be a boon if you are looking for a job. Before you begin though, it’s important to understand how exactly you can go about leveraging your network:
#1 – Know your contacts better
This can be fairly obvious to many – but it is important to ensure that you maintain cordial relations with all your contacts. This is a long term process of course, but can be leveraged much later for many positive outcomes.
Building a good network doesn’t mean adding five hundred people on social media. It is important that you pay attention and know them. You need to ensure that you can easily communicate with anyone and of course, this is a two way process.
Whether you’re seeking a new job or aiming to improve at your existing one–you need to approach the right people who are related to your field of interest. Sorting through your contacts properly is critical. For example, people can use the LinkedIn alumni tool to connect with people of your school/college and then look for the ones related to the profession you wish to pursue.
#2 – Update your profile
If your social media profile information dates back to when you were in college, don’t expect employers to be interested in you. Make sure that your profile is updated consistently. And of course, keep a check on what you post on social media. A hiring manager is likely to check your social media profile and if you have been posting inappropriately, you’re likely to be out of the race. You can even Google your name to check if there is anything that shouldn’t be on the internet associated with you.
#3 – Be clear about your preferences
Managers don’t wish to recruit employees who aren’t clear about what they want. Make sure you have clarity about the job and position you seek. You should also be mindful of any specific aspects you seek in a new role. You can then contact potential employers you think could help you. Make it easier for both parties.
Of course, you should be well aware of your strengths, weaknesses and passion. This will go a long way in connecting you with roles you’re most suited for. You will be able to communicate your demands and requirements clearly to the hiring personnel. There should always be clarity on your preferences.
#4 – Consider everyone
When using your network to land a job, never ever rule out people from your list. This can make the chances of you getting your dream job quite grim. Even though it is important that you choose the right contacts after thorough filtering, there’s always a chance you might be missing out on someone big. Sometimes the contacts that you don’t connect with are the ones you might actually be looking for.
#5 – Feeling nervous?
It can seem awkward, or even burdensome to ask for favours from acquaintances. There’s a natural tendency to be in two minds and be conscious about how you will be perceived. It’s unnecessarily stressful, which is it’d be prudent to main a good social reputation from the beginning. You don’t have to move to an extrovert-ish extreme, but simply cordial relations never hurt anybody.
But there’s another facet to this. What if you just don’t know the people added to your list? In such cases, it’d be a good idea to arrange for a personal meeting with them, or maybe drop a polite, formal mail. I’m sure if the other person is courteous, they won’t overlook your request. And the thing is in this social world, even you can prove to be of help to them at some point of time.
Of course, all of this is easier said than done. If you think landing a new job by leveraging your network is easy, you might be mistaken. Getting to the point where you can easily connect with anyone from your network and seeking their guidance is not that facile a task. You’ll need to work at it constantly and build a good network. It’s not just about growing your network, but connecting with the right people.