Networking 101: Landing Your Career

networking101Have you ever noticed that really successful people seem to have connections EVERYWHERE? Well, I have.

I grew up with my mother and father using the phrase, “It’s not always about what you know; it’s about who you know.” I didn’t always understand why they said this, but the older I got and the more independent I became, the more I began to grasp the idea and believe it wholeheartedly. The relationship between career success and networking is in no way, shape or form coincidental. After all, I’ve seen the powers of networking take people to whole new levels, including myself (you can read a little bit on my networking journey to landing internships here). So, instead of giving you a 4,000+ word blog post to sift through on the importance of networking (ain’t nobody got time for that!), my next couple of blog posts will be in the series labeled: “Networking 101.”

Finding Your Career via Networking

I did a quick Google search to find some hard data in order to “put my money where my mouth is,” so to speak, and found this article on Fox Business. Here’s a pretty powerful quote they included that grabbed my attention immediately:

“Research tells us that between 60-80% of jobs are found through personal relationships,” says John Bennett, director of the Master of Science and executive coaching and assistant professor of behavioral science at the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. “Learning to work in networks and in relationships in a way that is meaningful, that has impact and that conserves both our interest and the interest of the people we’re connected to, certainly is only going to add value to us as employees.”

60-80%?! Yeah, that’s a majority of the careers offered out there in the corporate world. Notice they didn’t mention job/career boards such as Monster, Careerbuilder or Do you want to know why? Well, with the flood of resumes all over the Internet, it’s easy for yours to get lost in the mix- no matter how impressive it may be.

When you are applying for jobs online and not using your network, all employers are seeing is a piece of paper with your credentials listed. More often than not, they don’t personally know your references, so those will only go so far. Does your resume tell them about your work ethic? Maybe. Does it paint them a picture of your level of expertise? Possibly. But if someone picks up the phone or walks into the office of a job you have applied for online and says, “Hi, my name is (insert candidate name), and (insert name of person who personally knows the employer) recommended me for this position. They may have already mentioned me, but I wanted to introduce myself and schedule a time to meet with you,” who do you think will have the better chance of getting a foot in the door? Exactly.

So how can you capitalize on your networking abilities to find your career? Well, here are some helpful tips:

1. Ask people you currently know if they know of any job opportunities. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, family member, acqaintance….as long as you have a decent relationship with them and know they would put a good word in for you, ASK! You’ll never know if you don’t! Besides, the worst they can say is, “no.”

2. Connect with people within your desired industry on LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media is making it almost impossible NOT to network, so take advantage of it! Say you want to come work at MultiView, for example. A great first step is to go onto our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and start following those, as well as individuals within the company. Once you connect with these professionals and grow your network, be sure to engage them (but don’t go stalker status). Start with “liking,” “sharing” or “retweeting” some of their posts.

3. Join an Association! Since MultiView partners with almost 2,000 trade associations, I’ve seen first-hand how powerful they can be! Associations provide wonderful networking opportunities, as well as other tools you can use to work in your desired industry.

So there you have it, Callie’s tips on using networking to land your career. Until next time, happy networking!

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