Competition for every open job position is so strong that it takes every tactic possible to get that job you’ve been dreaming about. If you are already an insider, it’s a lot easier to move around in the company, but if you are on the outside, it takes diligence and creativity. Networking can be the key, because you build a resource of contacts that can spread the word about you and your goals when the opportunity comes up in conversations.
According to Soxedo Careers, there are a number of ways to network that allow you to meet people. In order to network, you have to be open to interacting with people you don’t know. For example, joining a service organization club such as Kiwanis or Rotary will give you many opportunities to meet new people. Many of the members of those organizations are professionals and may have business connections with the company where you want to land a position.
By participating in the organization’s volunteer projects, you get yourself known, and before long you can start asking other members for referrals. Better yet, find out which clubs or service organizations the management at your dream company participates in and join those. Engage in upbeat conversations with those people and demonstrate your work ethic through your volunteer efforts.
Join the chamber of commerce where your dream company has membership. It is possible to get an individual membership. Repeat the same steps you did with the service organizations.
Find out when the company you are interested in is involved in industry trade shows or career conferences. Make an effort to dress appropriately and go talk to the reps at the booth. You may meet low level employees there, but you are bound to meet at least one person in management. Make sure you have planned what to say ahead of time. Show your interest in the company and the industry. Give everyone your personal business card with your contact information. Get their business cards and follow up periodically with an email.
You can also take advantage of social media sites on the Internet to get that extra edge. Many businesses now have Facebook pages or blogs. By clicking on the “like” button on a company’s Facebook page, you now have authority to leave comments on their page.
Forbes Magazine says you can actually blog your way into a job. Set up an industry blog and write witty, intelligent posts that reveal your expertise and knowledge on the subject. Add two or three new posts every week to keep your content fresh and current with industry trends. You would be surprised at how many potential employers will do a Google search for your name. Make sure what they find supports what you want them to know about you.
Companies love it when employees refer people they know to jobs where they qualify. It saves them the expense of hiring a job recruiter or spending the money on advertising when they are seeking to fill a job opening. If you don’t already know someone who works there, make a new friend. Remember that industry trade show where you met people that work there already? Get to know them better. They will tell you when the job you want opens up, and they can mention you to their boss.
Derren Thompson, “Ten Easy Tips for Networking Your Way Into a Job,” Sodexo Careers.
Tara Weiss, “Blogging Your Way Into a Job,” Forbes.com.