27 Jun 2016
People like to deal with the familiar. They like recommendations from people they trust and to get their opinion before making decisions. The same goes for employers and job hunting.
This is where it helps to network. Having the right connections can work to your advantage when you are vying for roles against other job seekers.
The New School of Job Search
Looking for a job using sites like Seek or a recruitment agency is still common, but being connected is fast becoming the new normal. You’ve probably heard more about networking in recent years. Strategically, you have a better chance of getting a job that ticks all the boxes if you have inside knowledge and a direct line to the person hiring.
Where Do I Start Networking
Think about what you want from your next role, so that you can readily seek the answers to your questions. This isn’t simply about the title. Think about the culture. Consider lifestyle, salary requirements, industry type and company size. How much do these things matter to you? All of these factors are helpful when establishing a fulfilling career and who it is you are looking to connect with.
Plan It Out
Whether you are doing it virtually or in person, it’s important to keep a track of who you are talking to and why. This can be done via a spreadsheet or a Google doc. Record names, emails, contact numbers and roles. This can be your all-purpose reference prior to any event, interview or application. Give yourself an advantage by researching the companies of your contacts through Seek, LinkedIn or Glassdoor.
This isn’t only about networking nights and coffee meetings, there is also space to make connections in the digital realm. LinkedIn has fast become essential for peer-to-peer communication in the modern job market. Whether you are an accountant or an engineer, there is a niche for you here. Evidence of this is can be found in the 380,000,000 plus job seekers and other professionals using the platform globally, with 7 million of whom are right here in Australia. According to BRW, one of Australia’s leaders in business thinking, LinkedIn holds more value for professionals than any other online community.
Use the platform to its full potential. Connect with co-workers past and present, friends in relevant roles, follow preferred employers, and join discussion groups. Doing this will give you greater exposure to other users (and key connections).
When it comes to getting there and being seen, it’s important to be where your peers are in terms of your career path and overall industry. Get yourself to as many events focused on connecting professionals as you can, there is no shortage of them. You can find events through Eventbrite, Meetup, your current educator or industry body. Be sure to introduce yourself to gain plenty of contact details and LinkedIn contacts.
When an introduction has been made or a favour secured, don’t forget to thank the contact who helped you. This can be done through a thank you note, a coffee or a movie ticket and it is essential networking etiquette. Plus, keeping in touch reinforces the help given, and may even provide further opportunities in the future.
Your Next Network Is Right Here
Did you know that as a TAFE student you already have a global network? TAFE Queensland Brisbane’s Industry and Skills Network is a growing collection of current job seekers and future professionals spanning the world. These professionals meet at regular Industry Insights events, hail from myriad industries and are eager to help one another make great happen.
Ready to get out there? Connect and see for yourself how much of a difference it makes.