Tip #2: Using Your Personal Network to Network
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. People say it so much that it’s easy to dismiss and you may think, I don’t know anyone who’s looking to hire someone like me. But you don’t necessarily need to know anyone in a position to hire. You just have to figure out how large your network circle is.
You Probably Have More Connections Than You Realize
It’s a small world:
It may be true that you don’t know anyone in a position to hire, but there’s only one way to find out. Make a list of your contacts, including teachers, classmates, friends, family, family friends. Reach out to them. Let people know you’re in the market and what sorts of things you’re interested in.
See and Be Seen
Make real connections:
You may feel like you’re doing a great job with your job search by sitting at home sending out cover letters and resumes to every job that looks like it has potential. Full points for perseverance and dedication, but there’s also something to be said for getting yourself out into the world and doing a little schmoosing and networking. Go to events where people who are in the field of your interest mingle. Find out if there’s an appropriate meet-up you can join.
Arrange a meeting with someone already in the field – This is another way of networking. Meet up with them to talk and pick their brain about how they got started. You never know who you’ll meet or who might mention your name to someone they think might be able to help you.
Make Yourself 1 of 1 instead of 1 of 1,000
Stand out from the crowd:
For every ad you answer, there’s a good chance hundreds, if not thousands of other people are also answering it. But if you can get an introduction to someone who only realized they needed someone after they heard about you and your search, you’ve completely turned the odds to your favor.