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Network During a Job Search

28 Apr 2014

How to network during a job search

How many people do you know? 200? 400? 600? More? Let's say you know at least 200. If they each know at least 200, that's 200 x 200 which equals 40,000 people you can get in touch with directly or through a contact. These people will have a lot of information and advice available to you to help in your job search, and in particular to help you to access the ‘invisible’ job market we talked about last week.

When looking for a job, spend the majority of your time using this network of contacts. Start off by making a list of people you know, from friends, family, ex-colleagues and current colleagues to people you know through hobbies. Prioritise who you feel best able to approach first.

Think about what you would like to get from each meeting. Draw up a list of points appropriate to discuss with that person. Short of asking for a job there is a variety of things about which you can seek advice and opinions.

For example:

  • information about changes in organisations, people, services or products, not yet publicly known;
  • developments in the industry; which organisations are growing, what are the issues they face;
  • comment and critique about your CV and/or presentation, but only if they are knowledgeable about your particular field;
  • referral to other people or sources of information.

The meeting is best held in the contact's office, since valuable information is on tap but more importantly the meeting will be a business one. Aim for about twenty minutes, since this usually fits reasonably into most people's diaries with some room to spare.

Finally, one of the most important reasons to network is that it's much more energising and motivating and less lonely than trawling through websites – enjoy it!

About Heather McArthur

Heather McArthur Raeburn

With a background in HR and career management consulting, Heather McArthur is an experienced career coach who helps her clients to embark on the right path for the future with renewed confidence. Using a mix of face-to-face discussions, exercises, questionnaires and psychometric testing she guides them through the process of taking a thorough and objective look at who they are, what they could do in their future career and what actions they need to take to get there, including presenting themselves persuasively to potential employers. She works with people at all stages in their career, ranging from recent graduates to board directors.

Visit Raeburn Career Coaching for more information.

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