Yes, what you’ve heard is true: a majority of jobs are never posted. Employers often rely on employee recommendations to fill positions so meeting professionals is a great way to improve your chances of landing that coveted job or internship. Networking can be a scary concept. Don’t play hide and seek with the hidden job market – be constructive and effective with these simple tips. :
1. Make networking a habit. You probably have the opportunity to meet someone new or strengthen a relationship every day. Networking is about building professional relationships with individuals working in a variety of areas. Make it a habit to engage with others even when you aren’t job searching. Offer to help others who want information about your career or connections with your contacts.
2. Talk to people you already know about your career goals. Even
if your friends, family, classmates, or colleagues aren’t pursuing the same profession, they probably have contacts in other areas. Be sure to ask them for introductions – in person or via email.
3. Build upon your current network. Make it a priority to attend events – at Wasserman and elsewhere – where you can meet professionals in your field of interest. Consider joining a student club or professional association to expand these opportunities.
4. Focus on gathering information. Professionals don’t always know about open positions and, even when they do, they may not feel comfortable recommending someone they don’t know. Instead of immediately asking for a job, start a conversation or ask for an informational interview. This strategy can get you insider information on hiring trends and companies in your industry of interest. Once you’ve made a good impression and started to establish a relationship, ask that your contact keep you updated if he/she hears of any openings in the industry.
5. Follow up, but don’t be pesky. There’s a fine line between being assertive and aggressive. After you meet a professional, it’s great to follow up with a brief email or LinkedIn request expressing gratitude for the conversation and/or asking for a follow up discussion. Sending period emails with relevant news articles or brief updates on your professional pursuits are great ways to ensure your contacts will think of you when a position opens.