How to Network and Find a Job You'll Love
When you learn how to network, you'll be learning a brilliant new skill that will allow you to quickly find a new job.
Even if you're completely new to networking or you're a shy person, you can use our approach to find yourself a job.
The basic idea behind networking is very simple, you build up a network of contacts, who you then use to help you find a job.
Before You Start Networking
- When you start networking, you'll find that the very first thing that a lot of people will say to you is "Please can you send me your CV". So the first thing you need to do, if you haven't already is to produce a first-class CV.
- Your CV really needs to sell your skills, experience and achievements. If it doesn't there is going to be no reason for employers or recruitment agencies to bother with your CV. If you want to improve your CV, then you may want to invest in a professional CV from Bradley CVs or see our CV writing tips.
- If you're planning to use an online networking tools such as LinkedIn, then you'll need to sign-up. LinkedIn's free option is fine to start with and you may never need to upgrade. You'll need to create a Profile that allows other people to find out about your experience, achievements and qualifications.
- Should you require assistance with your LinkedIn Profile then Bradley CVs can expertly produce an interview-getting Profile that will grab the attention of both recruitment agencies and employers.
- When you write to an employer, you need to produce a cover letter, if you need help with this, a professional cover letter from Bradley CVs can make a big difference to your interview chances.
Starting Your Network
Once you've got your CV and LinkedIn Profile sorted, you are ready to start networking in earnest:
- First draw up a list of potential employers you would like to work for and also a list of job agencies who operate in your sector / profession - it's fairly simple to do this using the Internet.
- Next draw up a list of everyone you know, including current and former work colleagues, close friends, friends you haven't seen for a while, family, family friends, etc.
- You then need to make initial contact with each person. How you do this will depend on how well you know them, how long it is since you last contacted them and what contact details you have for them.
- You can telephone them, text them, write to them, or contact them through social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
- LinkedIn is a great tool for contacting former work colleagues as you can search for them using the name of your former employer and the name of your colleague. You can then view their public Profile and invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn - most people will say 'Yes'.
- It may feel slightly awkward contacting former colleagues or friends you haven't seen for a while. You could try doing your initial contact by text or through social media - if they reply, then at least you know they welcome hearing from you.
- If you only have an address and no other contact information, you could try writing a letter. In some respect this may be a bit like a cover letter, except a lot less formal. Also see our example cover letters and you might want to learn how to end a cover letter correctly.
Focus on Finding a Job
- Ideally, once you've made initial contact with someone you already know, you need to move the conversation onto finding a job, but first find out what they are doing in their job, especially if you've not connected with them for a while.
- It's possible that one of your existing contacts works for one of the employers on your target list, so don't miss out on the opportunity of finding out about this by just talking about yourself.
- If they do work for one of your target employers, ask them for their help and tell them that you'd like to work for this employer too. If they're not at a target employer, they may know someone who is and they may be able to make an introduction for you or give you their contact details.
- LinkedIn makes it easy for you to connect with other people that know your existing contacts, so it's easy to see who in your existing network has a contact in any of your target companies.
- If one of your existing contacts identifies someone they know in one of your target companies then you'll need to contact them, preferably by phone or a face-to face meeting or via LinkedIn. You probably won't have to write a letter, but if you do, it would be similar to a speculative cover letter.
Growing Your Network
- To find a job, you'll need to grow your network by making contact with other people that your current network know.
- You'll also need to identify new contacts yourself: people working for any target employers you'd like to work for, recruiters working for recruitment agencies, plus contacts you make when you attend conferences, trade shows, etc.
- To identify suitable agencies, please see our recruitment agency finder. Recruiters will expect you to send them a CV, if you need help with this then our CV examples can show you how to professionally layout a CV.
- Check in with each of your contacts on a regular basis, especially the people that you know are actively networking themselves.
- Once you've built up a network of contacts, it's important that you maintain it, otherwise the hard work you have put in to build it up in the first place will be wasted.
- Do send your CV to prospective employers once you have a contact, making sure it represents the best you have to offer. If your CV isn't up to scratch, then a CV writer from Bradley CVs can create a superb new CV for you.
- Make sure that you help the people in your network as much as reasonably possible, if you help someone they are more likely to help you.
- Remember that finding a job is your goal, it's easy to spend a lot of time unproductively if you're unfocused.
Starting, building, growing and maintaining a network of contacts can be a great way of finding a job now and in the future.
If you put in the effort to maintain your network, you may be offered opportunities in the future that you would never have heard about, so it can really be worth putting in a bit of effort to keep it going.
Some people will drop out of your network - don't worry about them, concentrate on maintaining contact with the people you want to and add new people as and when you come across them - this is particularly easy with LinkedIn.
Other pages to view:
- FREE Reports: How to Dramatically Improve Your CV / Resume; How to Get a Big Pay Rise; Job Hunting Secrets Revealed.
- Want to improve your CV? Professional CV writing services can substantially improve your chances of securing a job interview
- Free CV distribution to over 1800 top UK recruiters
- Recruitment agency finder UK
- Advertised jobs
- Letter writing
- Example advert and letter
- Job Agencies
- Speculative letters
- How to Network
- Access 100,000+ jobs on our Job Sites section
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- Archaeology and jobs
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