10 Reasons Why Networking is the Most Efficient Job Search Strategy (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)
When I was a senior in college, I tried every job search strategy that existed. I went to job fairs, I applied to jobs online, I submitted my resume to job banks on company web sites, I participated in on-campus recruiting, and I applied to jobs listed in newspapers. Despite investing a ton of time, and despite having a terrific academic track record and lots of work experience, my efforts yielded little success.
The turning point for me occurred through networking; connecting with the right people ultimately got me my dream job to work for an NBA team after college. Networking also landed me a very high-paying job in 2008 when I decided to try a new career at the start of the recession. Because most young professionals make a number of mistakes when networking, many inaccurately view networking as intimidating, time-consuming, and ineffective. However, here are 10 reasons why networking is actually the most efficient and best way to search for a job:
- Employers also have fears about the hiring process. Employers are worried about hiring the wrong person, and hiring someone through a personal connection eases this fear.
- Employers have less time and money to spend on hiring. It takes a lot of time and money for an employer to attend job fairs, work with head-hunters, and post/manage jobs posted online. Hiring someone through a personal connection saves an employer time and money, 2 things that are even more valuable in a recession.
- Networking allows you to find “hidden” jobs. Because of reasons #1 and 2, many jobs never even make it “public.” Networking allows you to learn about job opportunities that are not even advertised.
- Networking allows you to find jobs with less competition. Advertised jobs have a lot more competition because they are so visible. Networking allows you to be places where your competition is not looking.
- Networking allows you to stand out from the competition. Even if a job is advertised, networking allows you to differentiate yourself from other candidates. The best way to stand out in a stack of resumes is to never be put in the stack in the first place.
- Networking allows you to bypass “screeners.” While each company will be different, employees in HR and recruiting roles are rarely the final decision-makers in a hiring process. Instead, they are usually responsible for screening out candidates, so that the real decision-makers have fewer people to evaluate. Networking allows you to get connected to the real decision-makers, thus avoiding the screeners often found in HR and recruiting departments.
- Networking can lead to a job being created for you. Even in recessionary times, employers are always looking for the right people. Position yourself as the right person through networking, and you might be able to have a job created for you. This happened for me in 2008 right when the recession was getting started.
- Networking makes the interview process much easier. During a typical interview process, employers ease their fears about hiring the wrong person by “testing” candidates in a variety of ways. However, when you are being interviewed after being brought in through a personal connection, the interview process is much more relaxed. (Note: you still need to be well-prepared!)
- Networking can help you start at a higher level and with higher pay. Again, because employers feel there is less risk in hiring you when you endorsed by someone they trust, and because you have saved them time and money on having to go through other hiring channels, you can often negotiate a higher position and starting salary than if you are offered a job after going through traditional channels.
- Networking can give you more credibility when you start your job. Instead of being “the guy we found on Craig’s List,” you’ll be “the guy that our Vice President recommended,” or “the girl who was a top salesperson with Jim at ABC company.” In other words, you’ll start out at a higher level in the minds of your colleagues and superiors.
In summary, there are a lot of different ways to search for a job. However, networking is the most efficient and best way! Make sure networking is your primary job search strategy!
Career Expert and President of Idealize Enterprises
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