Landing your first job can be difficult if you will rely only on job search sites and referrals. There will be cases when it will take you months before you can land the job that you want. If you do get a referral or an interview offer, there is no guarantee you will be able to get the job.
However, if you know someone from the company, it will be easier to get in the job because they can refer you directly to the team and even let you know if the slot is open even before it is offered to others.
Considering this advantage, how can you utilise your network to help you get your first job?
Here are some tips to help you improve your network and use it to land your ideal job:
#1 Know your existing network and build it
Every person has a network of connections which grows each time one meets new people. These include classmates, friends, teachers, neighbours and others.
Some people may not see these people as great places to start with when asking for help in getting a job. Get to know them and see if they know anyone in the industry that you want to work on.
If your current network is not enough, you can attend networking events set by companies or your school. You can also use social media to build your network.
#2 Ask Properly
In networking, you don’t just add friends and hope they will help you out without taking time to know if they will respond positively to your messages.
Be clear about your inquiry, why you want to ask them and make it reasonable. You should also take time to word your message and show sincerity. Don’t just write a template email and blast it to 200 people. Call them out and invite them for coffee.
Nothing is worse when you suddenly ask a friend you haven’t spoken in 10 years for a job favour or any kind of favour. However, if you ask nicely, there is a chance that your contact is searching for someone to hire. Be humble about it and never demand an immediate commitment from your friend.
#3 Have a clear plan
Once you get your contact to agree to meet you, prepare what you want to know as if you are interviewing them for information.
Ask about how they got into their position and how you can also reach the same position as they have. They will take note of your interest and help you in the best way they can.
#4 Stay in touch
When it comes to networking, you don’t stop talking to them when you introduce yourself to them and spend a few hours with them during your first meeting.
If you want them to help you get the job you want, you have to stay in touch with them and get to know them better. This will make sure they don’t forget you and think of you when they hear about the job you want to apply for.
Remember, relationships are built over time. You need to nurture your network and it is easier now with social media to keep the connection alive.
Networking has a lot of great benefits if you manage to cultivate it as early and as best as you can. Your connections can open doors you never thought possible, especially if you show them what you can do.
If you have connections in key areas where you want to work into, don’t be afraid to approach your connections for help. You never know, they may be the people who can launch your career in the right direction.
Just remember when you do get the job, pay it forward.
Still looking for your dream job? Here are some helpful tips:
Best Ways to Prep for your Dream Job Interview
Top Job Site to Hunt Down Your Dream Job in 2019
A Word Of Advice: Why Is It So Hard To Land My Dream Job?
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