For the active job hunter who is out of work or is trying to grow his or her career, networking is a key aspect to any successful job search effort in today’s volatile job market. There is nothing more important than getting an inside track on a job. Any career coach will tell you that this can best be achieved by leveraging ones existing professional and social networks. This is especially important because in today’s job market, referrals account for more than half of all job hiring.
The proliferation of social net working sites such as Tweeter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc has increased opportunities to network significantly and it is an important tool that the job seek must utilize effectively if he or she is to be successful in his or her job search effort. These networking resources are great for linking up with potential employers especially with those who are responsible for making hiring decisions. Theses online tools can also be used to interact with friends and friends of friends who can refer the job seeker to a person who is in a position to hire.
For any one who is serious about getting a job, the notion of networking translates to reaching out to all the people you know or have known that you believe can be of valuable assistance to you in referring you to a potential employer. It means getting off your high horse and reaching out to people you may not have communicated with for several years in order to reconnect. Using social networking resources like Tweeter, Face book etc, you can discover and reconnect with former professors, roommates in college, friends in high school, parents of child hood friends, uncles, aunts, nieces, cousins, nephews, neighbors in your former neighborhoods, former church members, former co workers, past employers etc. The key point to note here is that any effective job search requires that you seek out anybody who might be of help in referring you to someone who can make a valuable introduction to a potential employer.
In networking with people you want to help refer you to a potential employer, it is very important to highlight your worth or value to the potential employer. What this means is that you the job seeker must be able to justify to the individual making the hiring decision that by hiring you the firm is most likely going to gain in terms of enhanced value equivalent to two, three, or even ten times the salary and benefits that the firm is going to be paying you. You should effectively communicate your value to a potential employer by highlighting the unique attributes that you bring to the firm. These may include convincing the employer that hiring you with the talents you have would help boost the firms bottom line in such areas as increase sales, overhead cost reductions, enhanced customer loyalty etc. If you succeed in your networking efforts to get a referral to an interview, you need to effectively utilize the opportunity to expatiate to those interviewing you how you add value and explain what unique qualities you bring to the job and what separates you apart from the other candidates for the job. You must demonstrate to the person or persons making the hiring decision that your assertions in your resume are true, with evidence of your prior achievements in the industry or job area and provide valid references that will help to support your claims of accomplishment.
In conclusion, if you are actively job hunting or trying to grow your existing career, it is important that you not overlook the benefits of employing social media as a tool to access job listings and to link up with people who can assist you to find or grow your career.
By Dr. Tom Okure
President of ICMS, Inc
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