Trying to find a job in today’s job market might feel like an endless maze of rejection letters and unanswered job applications. And it doesn’t help that there’s a looming recession, layoffs and hiring freezes underway.
Maybe you’ve submitted your resume to dozens of employers and haven’t even received one invitation interview. If that sounds like you, know that you’re not alone.
As of September 2022 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 3.5% of Americans are unemployed. And of that percentage, there are 485,000 Americans that feel discouraged and believe that there is no work out there for them.
While comfort can be found in knowing that you’re not alone, it still doesn’t solve the problem of trying to find a needle in the haystack that is the job market. Plus in the wake of “The Great Resignation,” companies want more than just someone who looks goods on paper. This might be why your tediously perfected resume and cover letter don’t seem to be doing the trick these days.
So what’s the magic trick to landing job opportunities? Networking.
The Power of Networking
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” As frustrating as it is to acknowledge – especially when you have an encyclopedia’s worth of professional knowledge and education in your field – it’s the truth in today’s job market.
Companies want to hire people they can trust. And what better way to earn someone’s trust than a glowing recommendation. That is why it is so important that you have a strong network in place. Building up a solid network is your key to landing the right job opportunity, being prepared for a layoff and building a career you love.
A lot of people are worried about their careers thanks to ongoing economic uncertainty… we’re all feeling the pain of rising prices. How do you guard your career against an uncertain future? The key is to focus on what you can control and turn your anxiety into action. A couple of ways to do that are to build your professional network and be ready to look for work in case you lose your job.
Andrew Seaman, LinkedIn Managing Editor for Jobs & Career Development
7 Tips to Become a Power Networker
One of the best tools you have at your fingertips for networking is social media, in particular LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you access to a diverse pool of professionals (nearly 900M of them!) in and out of your industry. Building up a strong network on LinkedIn is so important for directing your career in any direction you want it to go in. Here’s some tips to help you become a power networker quickly!
1. Define your personal brand message.
This is your chance to get clear on what kind of jobs and connections you’re trying to attract, and your personal brand message is the expression of YOU. If you need some help crafting your message, check out my past newsletter ‘How to Craft the Perfect Elevator Pitch for Yourself“.
2. Design your LinkedIn profile so that it shows your brand, expertise and background
Your LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing website of who you are to professionals. The goal is to showcase not just what you do or have done, but what makes you, YOU. You want to rock out every part of your profile. A quick review of MUST haves:
- Cover and profile image
- About Section
- Featured Section
- Experience filled out completely with rich media added
- Contact info including personal URL and websites
- Education, organizations, publications, honors, awards
3. Create your top company and job positions prospect list and get clear on who and what jobs you want to pursue
Do research on all the companies you’d love to work for and the kinds of job titles and job descriptions you’d love to work with or even have. From here you’ll want to identify the 1st degree connections you have with these companies and these kinds of people, and start a conversation. Reach out to say hello, warmly re-introduce yourself if it’s been a bit and begin building a connection WITHOUT asking for anything. Appreciate and compliment them.
4. Send a personalized invitation to people you want to network with – ask for information!
From your list, see who are 2nd degree connections at these companies and with these people and send personalized invitations. Make sure you don’t say you want to pick their brain! Compliment and appreciate them first, find a commonality and start building a relationship. Have very specific questions you want to ask them via phone, video chat or even a quick voice text. Don’t be pushy.
5. Engage on content from the companies and people on your prospect list
There’s no better way to show someone you’re interested subtly then by liking and commenting on their posts frequently. This subtly shows your support and hits them with some dopamine and that always feels good. You’d be surprised at how these small engagements over time may help you get an interview or job. Show them that you’re a fan of what they do!
6. Attend virtual or in person events where your prospect list is at
If it’s virtual, make sure you’re sending personalized invitations to everyone on the webinar. If it’s in person, make sure you get their information, even a business card, and connect with them on LinkedIn. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable. No matter how nerve wracking it is, putting yourself out there is key and these relationships will pay off sometime in the future.
7. FOLLOW UP and KEEP SHOWING UP.
The magic of networking is patience, perseverance and persistence. Everyday, make it a priority to connect with someone new, engage with people’s posts and create conversations in the direct messages. These relationships ALWAYS pay off. Trust me… I have more examples than you can imagine. I landed my job at Gartner from my networking on LinkedIn and years of just showing up.
Give these power networking tips a try and watch your job opportunities expand into something tangible.
Good luck and happy networking!