That is “word of mouth”, the slightly less effective version of networking. Trouble is, people do this, and think they are networking. Further, when nobody else in your group “hears of who is hiring”, the next step is to conclude that nobody is hiring, and then the gloom and doom sets in.
Let’s look at something more helpful – Networking, as defined by the Five O’Clock Club is “using an existing relationship to obtain an interview”. Word of mouth gets you no closer to a meeting than reading a help wanted ad in the paper.
Actual networking takes a bit more effort. You will want to do the following:
1) Decide the types of companies you want to work for
2) Sit and think “do I know anyone there”
3) Think of anyone you know who seems well connected in the industry
Once you have your list of people you know, make sure you do some research on their companies. Call, email or text them.. if you have to use LinkedIn and message them, you aren’t really networking.
Tom’s free tip: If you don’t have any solid professional relationships you can lean on in times like this, you are either new, or can’t make friends. Don’t neglect those people skills!
When you contact them, make sure you mention the cool stuff their company is doing, and how impressed you are. Then tell them you are looking for a new career challenge, then ask them who in their company should have your resume in case an opportunity arises.
This much smoother than asking your friend for a job. We all know that’s what you are doing, but this is more polite and not seen as begging. this also removes your friend from the agony of being your advocate, unless they put themselves there.
Another word of advice – don’t pester your relationships.. once you find out who needs your resume, follow up with THEM.
And lastly, if one of your relationships says “we’re not hiring”, don’t let that stop you.. just say, “if you WERE hiring”, who should have my resume.. I just want to send a PDF document, not get married” keep it light and fun.
I know many of you are asking “what if I don’t know anyone”?
We’ll cover that next time.
Until next time, I wish you all the best!