Today’s job market can be tough—so job searchers are doing all they can to help give themselves a competitive edge. Networking has become a regular part of most job searchers’ vocabulary. But if you are not familiar with this skill, you may be wondering what can networking do for me? Here are four ways networking can help you in the next phase of your job search.
- Help you build a network - That may seem like an obvious result, but some view networking simply as making nice with people at the organization you dream will give you the job. The truth is, networking should be helping you build a system of professionals across your field and other industries that are easily connected. So, don’t limit yourself to building relationships with a select few—start making contacts in all areas of your life. These contacts can help you in more way than one.
- Build your confidence - It’s true that practice makes perfect and that even means in the job search process. The more time you spend talking with contacts and presenting yourself as a professional, the better you will be at it. This will help you build confidence in talking about yourself which can in turn help you when you reach the interview or to make that next big contact in your network.
- Improve your presentation - Practicing will help you improve your confidence and communication skills, but it will also help you improve your overall presentation to an employer. Networking contacts can give you good advice on your resume, your interview skills and the overall impression you leave.
- Help you find a job! - This is, after all, your goal. The more people you know and establish trusting relationships with, the more job opportunities you will know about. Many employers trust the people in their own network to give them advice on who to hire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, networking accounts for 69% of annual job hires—now that’s a number that should convince you to start building your network today!