Networking means building relationships with people who can help.
The other day my son complained that it was almost impossible to find a house in his preferred neighborhood. Houses go on the market for days, sometimes hours, before they are snapped up. He couldn’t see how he could get an advantage.
No amount of conversation could convince my son that he is missing the point. How did those houses get snapped up so quickly? Inside knowledge. Those lucky house hunters built a relationship with the hottest real estate agents in the neighborhood. They had first dibs on houses before the houses even went on the market. My son uses a real estate agent from another neighborhood so he must wait for the houses to come up on multiple listing services. Since that seldom happens, my son loses every time.
Unfair advantage? No, just smart networking.
Networking means building relationships with people who can help. Networking is a life skill that will serve you well in many circumstances these days. It is just as important in a job search as it is in house hunting.
In today’s job market, we find plenty of job seekers and fewer opportunities, just like there are plenty of house hunters and fewer available houses in my son’s preferred neighborhood.
If a job seeker submits a resume to a posted job, the chances are slim that one individual job seeker will get that job. I can do the math for you but, trust me, the odds against it being you are huge.
There are plenty of reasons for this situation:
- The competition is fierce with so many job seekers interested in the same jobs.
- Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are designed to screen OUT your resume and make the HR Department’s life easier.
- The job posting process provides no good way to distinguish yourself from the dozens or hundreds of other resumes. Your resume is the same as any other resume that gets past the ATS.
- Likely no one knows you in this impersonal process. You have no advocate to push your candidacy.
In my son’s house hunting experience, the local hot real estate brokers steered their favorite house hunters towards the best houses, giving those house hunters an inside advantage and leaving everyone else floundering.
What if you had an inside advantage in a job search? You would get a job faster!
Here are some networking advantages that might not have occurred to you:
Turn the odds in your favor. Your odds of getting a job from a resume you send off to a posted job, competing with everyone else, are less than 5%. Networking, on the other hand, gives you a 60% to 80% chance of finding a job because people will help people they know and like. If you cultivate strong network relationships, you will turn the odds in your favor.
Uncover special opportunities. You uncover unposted opportunities that might be revealed simply because you were in the right place at the right time, talking to people you already know. The wonderful article by Lou Adler, “New Survey Reveals 85% of all jobs are filled via networking,” documents this phenomenon. You are missing the boat if you rely on only posted jobs.
Get an inside advocate. By leveraging your contacts and building relationships with other people you don’t know yet, you can get an inside advocate. Networking opens doors to opportunities that haven’t been posted yet and might never be posted to the general public. Networking gives you an advocate to push your resume to the top of the pile.
Networking during a job search gives you an inside advantage in today’s job market. Networking means building relationships with people who can help. It is just as important in a job search as it is in house hunting. Networking is a life skill that will serve you well in this current market!
The Interview Doctor has plenty of experience with networking. That is how we grow our business and that is how we have stumbled upon some wonderful, unposted opportunities. I would be glad to share my knowledge with you.