The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work. Marinate on that for a minute. ~ Robert Kiyosaki
The top priority in any job search is to ensure you stand out above the rest of the candidate pool; applying directly to a job ad has the opposite effect, blending your resume among all the others. This might make looking for a job seem daunting and, in truth, the effort can often be a rollercoaster of emotion, but building the right network to complement your search can relieve a lot of that stress.
There are a lot of technological advancements and online resources that can connect you with potential job postings, but it is important to remember that the personal connections of your own network will go a lot further to helping you to find the right job.
“At least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published, ” Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons told NPR. “And yet most people – they are spending 70 or 80 percent of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.”
How do you stand head and shoulders above the competition?
You may think that your education, skill set, job history and mountains of volunteer experience that you’ve carefully compiled on to your CV should do the trick. Although your list of accomplishments might be quite impressive, there are so many other candidates in the search pool that have a lot of the same qualifications and hundreds of applicants per job. So, how do you break away from the pack?
Choosing multiple networking platforms can increase your chances of being noticed. What follows are a couple of networking ideas that may help in your search.
Build a social media presence
LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have often yielded great results. They work by having others promote you to potential hiring managers or by giving you the opportunity to possibly promote yourself directly. If you are persistent, you can double or triple your connections by utilizing your existing contacts.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure the profile that you are sharing to future connections maintains a professional tone, focused directly toward your end goal. If you have a list of organizations that seem like a fit for you, research them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and start reaching out to find existing contacts that may work there. Every contact will help you to keep building up your network strength. A recognized name or a warm touch referral will put you higher in the screening process, giving you the edge you need.
Network through recruitment agencies
The use of a recruiter can often remove you completely from the candidate pool and put you squarely on a short list, as a lot of organizations prefer to use a 3rd party resource for their talent search, rather than managing the process in-house. Recruiters are also a great way to keep your CV active and open to many roles at one time and to roles that may not exist today.
Recruiters are often recognized for a personal touch approach and can build, or have built, a trusted rapport with hiring managers. If you present well, they can be your biggest promoter and advocate and can get you on the short list for that perfect job.
Getting referred from your social media or your recruitment network exponentially increases your chances of getting noticed over applying to job postings directly. A lot of candidates don’t realize the power of networking and how spending much of their time chasing job postings can slow the process down and possibly have an underwhelming result.
If you are actively looking for a new career, it is incredibly important to stay focused and treat it like a job itself. For best results, start with internally evaluating what your perfect job looks like and then diligently work your way into that role by staying connected. You never know who will be able to give you that foot in the door!
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David Aplin Group is a private family and employee owned Canadian staffing agency founded in Alberta in 1975, recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished recruiting firms. Our mission is to positively impact lives. Blog author, Mike Letto, is Aplin's Business Development Consultant based in Edmonton.