Networking: What's Mine is Yours
Tips to help job searchers in your network EXPAND their network.
Over the last year, LinkedIn has been painted green – the color of the “open to work” profile frames that pepper our newsfeeds. It seems as if everyone knows someone who has been affected by job loss, underemployment, or furlough. Job search strategy evolves at a rapid speed – what worked years ago will likely not be as effective this time around. Leading outplacement firm, LHH, reports that 80% of job seekers in today’s market find positions by networking. While growing and maintaining your contact base is key to landing a job, it can be tricky to build new relationships virtually in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. You may feel you do not have the expertise to help in a meaningful way. This could not be further from the truth. You have one meaningful resource that can open new doors and unlock opportunities…. your network!
LinkedIn, the premier professional networking tool, is a key ingredient in the job search recipe. Approximately 98% of hiring managers use LinkedIn during a job search. You can leverage this tool as an ally to help those around you network with grace. Start by encouraging job seekers to connect with you on the platform and offering to connect them with individuals in your network who may be of value to them. Give job seekers the green light to scout your LinkedIn network, looking for new connections in related jobs or industries. An introduction by a common connection increases the chance people will be willing to share time and information with job seekers. This small gesture on your part equates to a high value for job seekers who may be intimidated by the prospect of reaching out to strangers.
Technology not your cup of tea? That is okay, you can be just as supportive offline. Take some time to review your mental rolodex and pull up all the members of your network. Remember, your network includes more than just your professional colleagues, past and present. It also includes friends, family, and others you interact with regularly. This includes the neighbor you wave to when getting your mail, as well as the recruiter who helped you find a job years ago. Ask yourself, is there anyone in your life who would be helpful for the job searcher to know? Someone who recently conducted a job search or worked in an adjacent industry may be able to offer firsthand experience. Your offer to make an introduction may provide a new perspective to the job seeker to reignite their search or help them look at their approach in a new way.
While successful job search stats show that networking is key, it is not in everyone’s wheelhouse. To assist those who shy away from this interaction, we can help lessen the load by introducing the job seekers in our lives to beneficial members of our network. One final pro tip - ask permission from both the job seeker and your contact before making the introduction. This speaks to your respect for both parties and ensures there are no surprises on either side.
Career Transition. (n.d.) LHH. Retrieved January 6, 2021 from https://www.lhh.com/us/en/individuals/our-services/career-transition