Networking: The Hidden Job Market

The vast majority of jobs are never advertised, estimated at over 80%.   This means that if you simply post on job boards or look at jobs posted on public sites you will only see a small percentage of available jobs - publicly-posted jobs that you will have to compete for against the hundreds of others who are looking at this advertising.   The fact is few companies have the time or budget to advertise jobs and sift through hundreds of applications.  And they think they can find the people they want without advertising.  So they try to fill positions through internal advertising (within their company) and networking.  Right now there are hundreds or maybe thousands of positions that are right for you - but you don’t know they exist.  And the companies that need you, don’t know you exist.                                                    

Most people find jobs because of personal connections, references and referrals.

Employers love to hire based on personal recommendations from employees and trusted contacts -- it vastly improves the odds that the applicant will be talented and suitable.

Socialize!  Make a habit of getting out, meeting and talking to people.  It is possible that anyone you meet can lead to a job.  When you connect with a person you have the potential to connect with anyone they know.

Social Networking

Business Cards:  You can give these out at job fairs, interviews, social gatherings – to anyone you meet.

Fellow Students and Alumni may have skills that can your new business, may work at companies that may need someone like you or who may know people in the industry who can connect you to the right person or job or internship opportunity.

Social Clubs and Organizations provide a friendly, relaxed environment in which to meet people and create friendships with those who can connect and recommend you (e.g. sports teams, Toast Masters, church groups, international groups, dance, chess, art).

Professional Organizations and User Groups – There are many local and national user groups where you can network with like-minded professionals in your field.

Online Social Networking: Use appropriate media sites like LinkedIn (most employers use this site), Facebook,  Twitter, Google +, Visual CV                                                 New online tools are taking networking to a whole new level 

Volunteer: Helping in your community will allow you to create relationships around a shared mission (e.g. working with charities, altruistic organizations like Habitat for Humanity, coaching sports, mentoring young people).

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