Networking is the process of re-invigorating your existing relationships and developing new ones. Everyone you know/meet can help you move your job search forward. Networking can seem intimidating! You may fear you’ll appear pushy, annoying or self-serving. Don’t worry! You’ll be meeting and getting to know people who can assist you and whom you can, potentially, help in return.
Why network? There are a number of benefits to online networking during a job search. Networking can:
Lead to information on job openings not yet advertised
Create an inside connection at a company
Allow access to the advice of experienced peers
Provide insights into an industry or profession
Garner guidance on job search methods
Provide new perspectives and ideas
Build your reputation
Develop confidence and social skills
Sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance
Help you find a job you love
Informal networking: Contact friends, family, neighbors, college alumni, coworkers from former jobs, your references, people who belong to the same associations/clubs/organizations as you. Call or email these contacts with a brief and pointed message. Ask for information, advice and job leads. 50% of all jobs are found through friends!
Formal networking: Contact past employers and recruiters. Consult business/industry directories to identify potential employees, even if they’re not currently hiring. Expand your network through social media platforms. Make use of online job boards. Take advantage of features like job alerts and the ability to edit and repost your resumé. Link to an employer’s website through the job postings. 37% of jobs are found through professional networks.
LinkedIn, the most popular social media platform for working professionals, allows employers and job seekers to connect, share resumes, and advertise available positions.
Twitter is a social media platform that breaks down communication barriers and lets you talk directly to hiring managers, without having to submit a resume. It needs to be supplemented with a blog or LinkedIn profile.
Jobster is a social media platform that lets you upload your resume, embed your video resume, showcase links to your site, provide a picture, tag your skills, add potential employers to your network and connect with them to find out more about posted positions.
Facebook marketplace lists job openings or other opportunities in your network and enables you to message hiring managers directly. Join groups to find people with common interests and network with them.
Indeed, the most used job board, aggregates thousands of employment-related websites across many sectors. Users track job trends, research salaries, sign up for alerts, and generate personalized resume links to share with potential employers.
Glassdoor aggregates thousands of jobs from a wide range of sources emphasizing employee reviews. Users can read reviews, research salary information, and consult company ratings before applying for a position. This site also offers a mobile app.
Workopolis has the usual functions but also offers a resource section containing articles and advice about a range of topics, such as tips on what to include in a resume or how to negotiate a salary.
Monster lets you browse or search for jobs in Canada by category, location or company, and save jobs by creating an account.
CareerBuilder has a direct relationship with most Fortune 500 companies and offers job candidates with a wide range of educational backgrounds though it focuses most on college-educated candidates.
Acuspire, the first AI-powered job search platform in Alberta, connects candidates with suitable employment. The more you interact with the system, the better it becomes at finding jobs that suit you.
Alberta Job Centre lets you search for jobs in Alberta by keyword and city and browse jobs posted by featured Alberta employers.
CareerBuilder lets you search for jobs across Canada or browse jobs in top categories and locations.
Eluta lets you search for jobs in Canada using keywords and locations, then filters results by suggesting more specific job titles, other locations, and top employers.
Job Search Networking Tips
Don’t assume that people won’t be able to help. Each network connects you to another network.
Asking for information and leads, rather than a job, is easier for the networking source.
Be specific about what kind of work you’re looking for.
Keep track of who you’ve emailed and where you’ve posted so you can follow up.
Follow through with referrals, thanking contacts via email.
Let contacts know whether you got the interview or the job. If needed, ask for additional help.
Create an inventory of your accomplishments (educational background, work history, awards, etc) to share with contacts.
Make a list of the assets you bring as a prospective employee.
Generate specific employer targets and career goals.
Be authentic. Hiding your true interests and goals will hurt you in the long run. Pursuing what you want will be more fulfilling and ultimately successful.
Be considerate. If you’re reconnecting with an old friend/colleague/employer, take the time to catch-up before you make an appeal for help. If the person you contact is a busy professional, be respectful of his/her time.
Hurried, emergency networking is not conducive to building relationships for mutual support and benefit. Slow down, be present, and try to enjoy the process.
Accumulate new contacts. Nurture the relationships. The key is quality, rather than quantity.
Good networking skills help you make valuable connections in your chosen field, keep you focused and motivated during your job search and unlock employment opportunities that help you find the right job. Use the full power of the Internet to identify work opportunities. Connect through job search engines, employer websites and business and industry directories. Audit your profiles to ensure you are communicating your current intent in the market. Get clear on what value you bring to the table as a professional. Highlight your top skills and objectives.