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Welcome to Job Club: Effective Networking

This week’s theme atsonder SOLUTIONS'Job Club was “Effective Networking: My Resources”.

Networking: the creation and maintenance of a support system of informational contacts. How does one start networking? At sonder SOLUTIONS' Job Club, we explored all the different ways on establishing a network. Here’s how to start:

Create a contact list of people you know in your field of interest, friends and family, and established people in your field that you would like to meet.

Create and practice a one-minute elevator speech that you are comfortable with using when meeting new people that describes you and your career goals. Also, have three questions which will work as conversation openers.

Become aware of what is going on in the world of work, i.e., read papers, periodicals, professional journals, want ads, etc.

Expand your acquaintances. Join professional associations, unions, attend seminars, conferences, join or create a networking group, etc.

Be willing to help others as well. Reciprocate even if it is a promise of future help.

Ask before the end of a conversation, “Do you know other people I might contact?”

Do not ask for a job--just gather information and develop contacts.

Follow Up: Be sure to send a thank you note after you meet or talk with a contact, follow through on your promises, and maintain your relationships--even after you have landed a new position.

A recent survey found that 14% of new jobs are found through want ads, and only 13% through employment agencies. The most fruitful sources of new jobs are networking (36%) and contacting potential employers (30%). Because networking leads to so many new jobs, our main purpose is to help our participants understand what a network is and how to develop one. Let’s dive in:

Create a Networking Checklist

SEEK every opportunity to network

INTRODUCE yourself

CONNECT to the person/use a referral

DISCUSS your transition promptly

GET to the point promptly

SAY “I’d appreciate your advice”

ASK for specific information/ideas

DO NOT ask for a job

AIM for a minimum of two referrals

SHOW your appreciation with thanks/updates

Conduct an Effective Job Search

An effective job search is carried out by searching the Internet and 60% of jobs are obtained through networking. There are many facets to an effective jobs search, and skipping any of them can lead to dissatisfaction. The steps to take are as follows:

Know Yourself

There are many self-assessment tools available that will give you information about your personality, skills, and values. Also, if you are dealing with emotional scars from a prior job, it is good to find a way to heal before moving any further.

Research Your Choices

Once you have narrowed your job search down to a few good possibilities, it is time to do some research. Once you have some basic information, it is a good idea to conduct several informational interviews with people who are working in your selected positions.

Conduct Some Intensive Networking

Write down a list of your contacts, and those you would like to contact within your chosen career, and call them or write to them. These contacts will be your best resource. Make sure you thank them for their time and assistance.

Respond to Potential Job Opportunities

Create a dynamite resume that you can gear to each opportunity and send it along with an appropriate cover letter. After you have done this, follow up with the company a few days to see if there is any interest.

Prepare for your Interview

Once you have obtained an interview, prepare to make it a success. Do your research on the company, dress for success, and practice answering the difficult interview questions.

Stay Motivated!

You have to treat your job search as a full-time job. Although you do not have to search from 9-5 every day, you will only get out of it what you put in. Have a plan, because we all know that job searching can be stressful. Don’t let is affect your physical health. Eat well, exercise and practice self-care. Keep your head up, there is a job out there waiting for you!

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