Networking Conversations and Networking Meetings –
How to conduct them and why you need to schedule them during your job search.
1) The Networking List: It’s important to make a list of 20-40 people (of your closest family and friends and colleagues) you know and would not be embarrassed talking to about your job search or your career. Networking is defined below. Most people don’t like the word networking because in their mind it connotes something negative or superficial. Most people also feel that networking means that they are taking from the person they are conversing with.
- To interact or engage in informal communication with others for mutual assistance or support
2) Simple ways to network and have conversations: What people don’t realize about networking is that when you have simple and quick conversations with other people i.e. in the grocery line or starbucks line, at a party, ball game, hair salon, or while commuting on public transportation you are sharing information and ideas, which means you are truly networking.
Networking results in
80% of the people getting hired within six weeks to three months .
3) You don’t have to give a lot and you get so much: They feel compelled to give something back and are nervous because they think they don’t have anything to give. They also feel uncomfortable about building rapport quickly. It’s very easy and can be a great thing for your life and career with no strings attached. A simple thank you note will do!
Most jobs are not advertised on the internet and are usually available on the company intranet.
4) Email your target list, resume and ask for the networking meeting: Once you have made your networking list you will want to follow up with these contacts. Please do not contact them until your resume is final, you have done your market, salary and company research. You need to be prepared before you meet with them or talk to them. You will want to conduct all your meetings face to face and they don’t need to be more than one hour. If you can’t get a face to face meeting then schedule a phone meeting. The preparation for both is the same.
Ok, so send an email to your contacts with your current resume attached and your list of 10-15 target companies that you want to work for. Make sure you ask them if they have contacts at your target companies or they know anybody that can help you get into those target companies. You are essentially tapping into their network as well. a meeting and ask them if they know anybody at your target companies that could help you get an interview. This will get the ball rolling.
News flash!!!! Don’t forget to tell everybody you know that you are looking for a position!!!
5) How to prepare for the networking meeting- via phone or face to face: Once the meeting is scheduled, make sure you prepare for this meeting and don’t waste their time. Define your objective for the meeting, ie: I want to talk to this person because I want to learn about their industry because I am changing industries. 1) Make sure you position yourself and summarize your career for them. 2) Explain to them about the research you have done regarding your career ie. Target companies, industries, etc.. 3) Ask a couple of questions based on your objective.
4) Ask for referrals from your contact 5) Make sure you say thank you and ask them if you could do anything for them.
Companies want to hire through their employee referral programs because it saves time and money!
6) The informational interview: This is usually with a potential hiring manager. The networking meeting can be with a hiring manager or just a neighbor or family friend. The informational interview is important and you will want to be very strategic during this meeting. For example, you will first want to ask them about their role at the company and what their corporate goals are and how their departmental or divisional goals align with the corporate goals. Also, find out what keeps them up at night? What skills are they lacking on their team? It’s important to learn everything you can about them and their needs so then you can link your skill set and communicate your value to meet their needs.
News Flash!!! Remember, people that are employed want to network with you because they want to build their own network!
7) Don’t forget to get their contact information and follow up: Always ask how you can follow up with them. Don’t forget to get their card. Remember to follow up.
Come find out about the hidden job market.