How networking can help you find a job? Whether networks can help is not a question we are asking, however, it is time to train ourselves to identify the processes and ways in which we can benefit from networking- especially in job seeking. In an age of social media overload networking has gone beyond physical business networking and conference luncheons and additionally moved over to online spaces.
“LinkedIn is for the people you know. Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know”
According to a report from ABC News, up to 80% of jobs are found through networking. Further, a study from the National Institutes of Health, showed a consistent significant positive correlation between career prospects and income on the one hand, and networking activities on the other.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote the following in his bestselling book ‘The Tipping Point’:
In his classic 1974 study ‘Getting a Job’, Granovetter looked at several hundred professional and technical workers from the Boston suburb of Newton, interviewing them in some detail on their employment history. He found that 56% of those he talked to found their job through a personal connection. Another 18.8% used formal means — advertisements, headhunters — and roughly 20% applied directly.
This much is not surprising; the best way to get in the door is through a personal contact. But curiously, Granovetter found that of those personal connections, the majority were “weak ties”. Of those who used a contact to find a job, only 16.7% saw that contact “often” — as they would if the contact were a good friend — and 55.6% saw their contact only “occasionally.” 28% saw the contact “rarely”. People weren’t getting their jobs through their friends. They were getting them through acquaintances.
Why are people you’re less close to more valuable in terms of finding a job? It’s because you’re more likely to know the same people and things your good friends do. Acquaintances, on the other hand, “give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong”.
Charles Duhigg elaborated on the same in his book ‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business’:
In fact,in landing a job, Granovetter discovered, weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong. Many of the people Granovetter studied had learned about new job opportunities through weak ties, rather than from close friends, which makes sense because we talk to our closest friends all the time, or work alongside them or read the same blogs.
By the time they have heard about a new opportunity, we probably know about it, as well. On the other hand, our weak-tie acquaintances—the people we bump into every six months—are the ones who tell us about jobs we would otherwise never hear about.
Needless to say, networking is vital to staying employed, salary growth, and job satisfaction. Employees with larger networks certainly perform better than their lesser networked counterparts.
So what are some of the networking techniques you can use to find yourself a job?
How can networking help you find a job – we offer some tips!
Reconnect with old friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. Connect with Headhunters or executive recruiters on specialized platforms.
Utilize your already existing network of former colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances. Identify people from your “pool” of contacts who you think could be good leads for your new job. These are the people you already know who are clearly able and willing to help you branch out. Invest in these relationships by emailing them for advice.
- Actively attend networking events (seminars, lectures, workshops) consisting of job seekers, business owners, professional associations and meetups. Have a good conversation with a few people at an event and listen to what their needs are. Think of how you can really connect with them and support them.
- Establish yourself as an expert: Don’t wait for others to do it for you. Start the best blog in your niche. Make it the go-to website for information and commentary in your field. Starting your own blog or online resource on your own initiative also shows you are relatively tech savvy, and can help demonstrate your versatility as an employee.
- Connect with past organizations: School/college reunions can turn into a networking opportunity. Remember to carry along plenty of business cards!
- Throw a networking party: Mix business and pleasure with a networking party! Encourage friends to bring business cards, but keep the party casual. A relaxed environment can help to take some of the pressure off of the job hunt, and be a fun way to meet new people.
- Finally, follow up. Remember to send thank you notes. Email. Call. Do your best to help everyone you meet. Small acts can go a long way when you’re building your network for new job opportunities.