- If you’re currently looking for a new job, networking is one of the key strategies you can use to get hired in a new role.
- Data from the business advisory firm Brunswick shows that 25% of polled US workers are currently looking for or will be considering a job change within the next year.
- We’ve compiled some of our best advice to maximizing your success while networking, including engaging in different types of networking, leveraging your network, and asking for plenty of advice.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
If you find yourself between jobs or trying to leave your current job for a new one right now, you’re not alone.
In an exclusive research partnership with Business Insider, data from the business advisory firm Brunswick shows that 25% of polled US workers are currently looking for or will be considering a job change within the next year.
The majority of those looking to leave their jobs said it was because of limited growth opportunities at their company and in their current role, Brunswick found.
In general, it may not be a great idea to leave your job right now. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the United States into the early stages of a recession. The Labor Department said last week that 45.7 million people filed for unemployment over a 13-week period. This has hit many businesses hard. Some are continuing to cut down on staff while others are shutting down altogether.
But it’s not impossible to find a new role during tough economic times. Especially if you network the right way, which will improve your chances of finding new job prospects.
If you’re unsure how to do it right, we’ve compiled a list of best networking practices that will help you land a new job.
Look for opportunities to network virtually
Networking opportunities are everywhere, and they’ve become even easier to find from the comfort of your own home since the onset of the pandemic.
LinkedIn is a great place to start your search. But you can even reach out through Twitter; the social media platform offers a way to get in touch with important industry figures who might otherwise be inaccessible.
Many schools and colleges also have alumni associations with directories that you can use to reach out, and industry-specific organizations are organizing more and more remote networking events.
Leverage the network you already have
Dave Fano, CEO of career company Teal, recommends making your job search known to your entire network.
“Tell the world,” Fano told Business Insider, and get over the embarrassment. “Right now the world wants to help more than ever.” But if you don’t ask for anything, “then they can’t help you.”
According to Matt Youngquist, the president of Career Horizons, 70% of jobs are not even posted publicly. “The vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances,” Youngquist told NPR.
The best way to learn of jobs is from your network, but they can only refer you to these openings if they know you’re looking for work.
Reach out to people you admire to expand your network
Even if your ultimate goal is to find a new job fast, it can be helpful to have networking conversations that aren’t framed around a given company’s job openings. Joe Casey, who runs the career coaching firm Retirement Wisdom, recommends setting up “life design interviews,” or conversations with people who have already achieved your career goals to learn how they got where they are today and what it’s like to have their jobs.
Before leaving his job at Merrill Lynch to become a career coach, Casey reached out to 23 career coaches for life design interviews. Casey previously told Business Insider that 21 of the 23 coaches he reached out to were happy to share their experiences.
Casey doesn’t recommend that job hunters ask for a job lead during these interviews. The main objective of these interviews should be to learn more about the field or company that you’re interested in and figure out whether or not you’re interested in the first place.
Ask for advice
The biggest obstacle to networking is often fear; people tend to worry about inconveniencing others.
But people like being asked for advice. Research shows that they perceive you as more competent when you solicit advice; this might be because it makes them feel knowledgeable.
Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew, authors of “The New Rules of Work,” encourage people to keep in mind that networking is beneficial to both parties.
“Remind yourself on a daily basis that you are a valuable asset and that most people want to help you,” they wrote. “After all, if someone recommends you for a role in her company and it works out, she comes out looking good.”
LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann recommends sending out something as simple as: “I am currently using this time to think about my next career move and reconnect with people in my network. If you happen to have a few minutes over the next few weeks, would you be willing to chat?”
We’ve made it easy for you to get started: Here’s a e-mail template you can send to friends and colleagues, and here’s a more targeted email you can send to specific contacts.