“Network!” is probably the number-one piece of advice every job seeker hears, and for good reason: People who are already working are in a great position to tell you about potential job openings. But how do you build a professional network when you aren’t heading to the office every day yourself?
Networking while you’re between jobs takes work, it also pays off. Here’s how to use professional networking to help you land your dream job:
- Think “networks,” plural. If you’re like most job seekers, your “network” is actually comprised of a bunch of “mini-networks” – groups of people you know from various contexts, like previous jobs, college or grad school, volunteer work, and other social events. Start leveraging your network by focusing on each of these mini-networks in turn. Who can you reconnect with? Who might offer helpful insight into problems related to your career field? Who always seems to know what’s going on “behind the scenes”? Looking at one mini-network at a time can help you zero in on the most helpful contacts without feeling overwhelmed.
- What do you offer? What strengths do you offer, and what companies would you like to offer them to? Think of yourself as the marketing manager (and CEO) of You, Inc. Create a specific, short description that covers your core strengths, names a few job titles that fit what you do, and underline the one or two top values you bring to an organization. Memorize it. Make it your LinkedIn header. And share it with anyone who asks.
- Follow through. Sometimes, a network connection’s offer to help doesn’t seem like it will immediately pan out – or an offer to help sounds more like a request for your Whatever the case, if you express interest or make a promise, follow through. If you offer to connect a friend to another business contact, do it promptly. Show up to your lunch dates or coffee connections on time. If a connection offers to introduce you to someone in your field, drop everything and schedule that meeting – and tweak your resume!
- Work with a recruiter. One way to think of a staffing firm is as a giant networking “hub.” To do their jobs well, recruiters have to know everyone in the local industry. They have to maintain good working relationships with local companies. And they have to continually update their “inside knowledge” of these firms and the people who run them. If you’re not making this knowledge work for you, you’re missing out.
Connecting with one of the dedicated recruiters at Burnett’s Staffing immediately expands your professional network in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, helping you land your dream job. Contact us today to learn more about great job opportunities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.