Archive for July, 2010

Job Hunting and Networking

 

Great post from Workthing. Job hunting is often about who you know, rather than what you know!

Networking meetings are as important as formal interviews. They let you tap into the hidden job market and access the 80% of jobs that are never advertised, so this initial meeting is your foot in the door.

Networking meetings aren’t about being handed a job on a platter; they’re about trading information and collecting advice. Be confident in your approach – you say you’re not a ‘natural networker’, but you’ve secured a meeting. Your contact has taken time to meet you and they want to know more about you. If they can’t help, there’s always a good chance that they can introduce you to someone who can.

Here’s how to manage your meeting:

Usual interview rules apply – dress smartly, research the company and the industry, and understand who you are going to see.
Prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ – explain who you are and what you can offer, but keep it relevant to your contact’s industry.
Communicate your career focus – explain who you are targeting and why.
Be upfront – explain that you are looking for new opportunities…
…But not pushy – don’t directly ask for a job, but instead tap into the other person’s industry knowledge and contacts.
Reciprocate – trade information and show that you are keen to help out your contact if you can.
Spread your net – ask for specific information, referrals or recruiting contacts.
Follow up – with a brief email that thanks them for their time and help.

Manage these meetings well, and you’re one step closer to that unadvertised job opportunity.

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