When you approach the search for your first job, naturally people goes to the Job boards.
Such as Career Builder, Glassdoor, Monster, Linkedin, or local job boards
Or Mega-Search Engine e.g. Indeed, Simplyhired
However, as you all know, the ATS(the Application Tracking System aka recruitmetn robots) tosses most people out electronically. If you blindly apply to jobs off the job board, it would not bring you up the game.
The ultimate solution is to go around the process and leverage the power of people. That is Networking.
Networking for During Job Hunting
Now, to get ahead in the job search game, here are some more shortcuts which were tested by many fresh graduates:
#1. Identify 10-20 employers that you admire; Stalk them on social media to make sure you are aware of their most recent development
#2. Get your foot in the door: Get temporary jobs at companies that you admire; employers might fall in love with you and offer you a full-time role if you are good enough.
#3. Go out and get very social. There are plenty of events you can attend to help you get used to networking. Alumni, young professional organizations, Chamber of Commerce often hold monthly meet-ups that you can join.
#4. Target to conduct 10 “Informational Interview” with professionals in a 1 year (they could be Alumni, Mentor, people you met at Talks, Linkedin connections etc)
#5. Donate your time. Contact the organizations hosting events to see if they need volunteers. This is especially good if you are uncomfortable meeting new people. By having a purpose at the event, it will help you relax AND you’ll make new contacts who will see how productive you can be.
How to approach people in networking sessions
In social situations, how we connect with new friends depends on our networking skills.
And networking can seem sooo daunting…especially when you are in an unfamiliar occasion, where groups of people already chatting, and you don’t know how to break into a conversation.
Don’t panic. Here are some tips for you:
1.Approach people standing in a V shape, like the arms are open and their feet pointing outward; cos their body language said they are welcoming.
2.Get to know the organizers and those who plan events.
3.Get comfortable talking about who you are and what you do in 30 seconds to a total stranger. That is your elevator pitch
4.Have a casual conversation that adds value to that person.
5.Be curious and ask polite questions
6.Follow up with plans with at least 3 people after each event. It could mean the exchange of social contacts, have a coffee meeting, or inviting them to a next event
“Networking is not about hunting. It’s about farming.”
Your network of people is like a garden.
You’ll have to build and serve your professional network, so when the day comes that you need to tap into them for help, they’ll be glad to do so.
Be interested, share generously and be a good listener!