Eighty-five percent of job vacancies are filled through networking. So, making connections and building relationships with potential employers, recruiting specialists, and other people in your industry could help you land the job of your dreams. That said, only one in four professionals use this method to find work. New to networking? These strategies can help.
Perhaps the best place to network is at events like conferences and trade shows. Here, you can:
- Meet people in your industry who might know about a career opportunity that matches your skillset
- Talk directly to employers and recruiting experts looking to fill positions
- Give out your business card or resume to other attendees
Online industry events have become popular since the pandemic. That means you can now network with industry professionals without flying to a conference or trade show hundreds of miles away.
Social media helps you network and find new career opportunities. LinkedIn, for example, lets you engage with leaders in your industry and showcase your talents. You can create a page that lists your skills and experience and use different tags to attract employers and other professionals.
Other social media platforms can be just as effective for networking. You can follow thought leaders and industry professionals on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and engage with their posts. Why is that so effective? Because you can develop meaningful connections with these people over time and land a job based on your experience and skill set. You can also message other professionals directly, which might lead to new business relationships.
Don’t forget about Reddit. This website isn’t technically a social media platform. However, it’s a great place to network with people in your industry. Find the best subReddits in your niche and start topics people are interested in. You never know — engaging with people on this site could lead to new career opportunities.
Many professionals can tell if someone is just talking to them because they want a job. You’re more likely to achieve success from networking by taking a genuine interest in what these people do in your industry. That means reading their online content, listening to their opinions, and asking them relevant questions. Create a legitimate partnership based on shared work interests and trust.
Sometimes networking is more than business. Attending social events with professionals can help you learn more about them. Why not arrange a trip to the theater or a great restaurant?
Business relationships are two-way things, and a professional should get as much value from your partnership as you do. So think about what you can offer someone before networking with them. Specific industry knowledge or work experience might make you stand out from your peers. As you grow your network, continue to provide value to people in your industry.
Support everyone in your network if you can. Know someone who’s looking for a job? Refer them to a previous employer or help fill out their resume. Being part of a successful network means giving advice, sharing resources, and providing assistance.
Informational interviews are informal conversations with people in your industry that typically last 20-30 minutes. These interviews can be great for networking because you can:
- Understand how a particular company works
- Discover job types that interest you
- Find career opportunities in the future
You can arrange informational interviews with other professionals yourself. Start by messaging people you follow on LinkedIn and tell them you want to talk to them on the phone. You can ask someone at a business event for a quick interview if that doesn’t work.
You might want to ask someone what their regular working day looks like or the biggest challenges they face in your industry. Just come up with several interesting questions that provide insights into your career.
Networking can help you:
- Find a new job
- Learn more about your industry
- Engage with people who have similar interests to you
Follow the tips above to make this process more successful and become a proficient networker in your niche!
Also, consider working with a recruiter to stay ahead of the competition and progress your career. MRINetwork can connect you with an expert in your industry who will guide your job search. That can help you unlock new opportunities. Are you ready to take your career in a whole new direction? Find a recruiter near you.