Many employers already have enough applicants without advertising a position. They’ll often gravitate toward a person who’s been referred to them by a trusted contact - which is known as tapping into the hidden job market. You can boost your own professional contact list and increase your chance of securing a great position by networking.
You’ll get the word out among your friends, family and all of their connections, and practise articulating your skills . The following tools will help you communicate your professional persona:
- Social media networking, including an optimised LinkedIn profile
- An up-to-date ePortfolio that showcases your past work and achievements
- Alumni groups
- Attending networking events
- LinkedIn Module (current students and staff only)
Build Your Network
Potential contacts can be found everywhere, so research the type of people you’d like to meet - where do they work? What do they read? How can you contact them?
If you’re looking at specific companies, work out which contacts within those companies would make great contacts.
Find an Event
We often hold networking events with industry professionals.
Providing a value exchange will provide a point of difference, and allow you to showcase your abilities while networking. What do you have to offer someone who’s already established in your industry?
Consider offering to share your knowledge in exchange for a contact's time. You can then use these exchanges as examples when interviewing for a position.
Networking is largely about maintaining contacts throughout your career, so touch base with people you meet after you initially meet them.
If you’ve connected online, send them a quick, personalised message and suggest another a meeting that suits their schedule.
Find Your Strengths
There’s no one specific way to network. Introverts who don’t enjoy big crowds or making small talk with strangers might find it easier to connect online, whereas extraverts might find it more genuine to go to events or join organisations.
It’s important to put yourself out there, but consider the best way to do that for you.
Make an appointment with a careers counsellor today.