Millions have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Research says that networking leads to jobs more often than any other job search strategy. If you’re unemployed or looking for a new job, don’t rely solely on job boards, and mass resume mailings. I’m sure you’ve heard that many times.
According to PayScale, 70% of jobs are secured through networking. Networking requires intentional effort but we no longer have the conveniences we once enjoyed. In-person interactions have now been replaced by video or phone for the time being. The good news is your network hasn’t changed and is still available to you. Tap into your resources. Put the word out there that you are job hunting as a result of COVID-19.
Develop the best strategy that fits your networking style but you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone. The main ingredient is connecting with and talking to people. That won’t change because networking is relationship-based. All of my jobs to date were obtained through networking. When you want different you have to move differently. If time is not on your side, networking is going to serve you better than waiting for a response from a job board application. Your goal is to access the hidden job market.
Set a goal to connect with a minimum number of people each day or at each virtual event. My magic number is a minimum of 3. Remember networking is transactional, so always offer to support in some way.
People are showing more compassion for one another which makes it a good time to approach contacts. On the other hand, there’s more competition. Be sure to focus on what sets you apart.
Here are some specific networking strategies that you can use to connect virtually.
· Ask your current network for warm leads (colleagues, family, former co-workers, friends, friends of friends.)
· Connect with networking platforms such as MeetUp.com, Facebook Groups and other social media platforms.
· Register for free events (webinars, masterclasses) in your field that will help you learn something new or meet new people.
· Attend free virtual Chamber of Commerce Events in your area for members or nonmembers.
After virtual events, send the speakers and other participants a LinkedIn connection introducing yourself. Send a note sharing how you enjoyed their presentation or relate to their comments.
· Support small business owners and entrepreneurs who are hosting virtual events and sharing their expertise.
· Connect with professional organizations and associations of which you are a member.
· Use LinkedIn to connect with recruiters and apply for jobs.
· Join LinkedIn Groups. Be active in the group.
· Target specific employers that you would like to work for and use your network to make contact.
· Reach out to someone in your dream position and ask for an informational interview.
If you're a job seeker, the goal is to build strategic relationships. Create a manageable schedule for yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember to take breaks, but be consistent.
If you feel unsure of your resume, need job search tips, help with your LinkedIn profile or are considering a change, I'm here to help. Reach out to me anytime by scheduling a complimentary call here. You’ve got this!