Table of Contents
- 1. Have a clear understanding of your goals
- 2. Look for people that align with your interests
- 3. Use platforms to identify contacts
- Pro tips:
As a job seeker, professional networking has the potential to change your job search game. While a major part of your success depends on planning and actions, a part of it is also determined by the people you choose to network with. The type of audience can make a huge difference in the attainment of your goals. In our other articles, we have discussed how networking is crucial and what you should do as a job seeker. In this article, we will help you identify the right audience. Let’s have a look:
1. Have a clear understanding of your goals
The first step of successful networking is having a clear understanding of your goals. This means having a clear idea of why you want to reach out to people and how they can help you reach your goals. If your only answer is ‘looking for a new job’, we would suggest digging a bit deeper and focusing on aspects like changing:
- Job function
- Work Culture
This will help you figure out your specific reasons and identify the right people based on them. For example, if you are looking to move to a new country, you may want to interact with professionals working in that country. This will not limit your choice to people from a specific company or industry.
2. Look for people that align with your interests
Once you have an idea of your goals, it is time for you to start listing categories of people that you should reach out to. This would mean thinking about people who fall in the following classifications:
a. Target Industry, Company, and Position
Professionals working in your target industry, company, and position will give you a good idea of how things work on a day-to-day basis. While researching on the internet will help you understand the theoretical aspects, speaking with people will allow you to get a glimpse of the practicalities and new opportunities, if any.
b. Education and Interests
Professionals with similar interests and education as yours might have the resources to introduce you to new opportunities relevant to your career trajectory. Let’s say you are a professional with an HR degree and are currently working in recruitment. Someone else with a similar degree working in a different domain may give you an idea or introduce you to an HR opportunity that you hadn’t thought of earlier. Our suggestion would be to keep your options open and interact with a broad range of professionals instead of limiting it to the target job group.
Suppose you are in your early 30s, living and working in the UK, but you are looking to move to the US within the next year. In such a scenario, speaking with people from your target company and industry will provide you insights, but do you know what will help you even further? Speaking with professionals from a similar age group and target location! Their knowledge about the place and lifestyle will aid you to know your desired lifestyle in the US. Furthermore, we would want you to remember that new opportunities can come from anyone, whether they are a part of your industry or not.
3. Use platforms to identify contacts
The next step is to start identifying people on social networking platforms. They may not necessarily be a part of your network but connecting with them could really help you. Some of the professionals/ groups that you may target are:
a. Professionals at your job level
Professionals working in your industry and job function at your job level and higher will have the best knowledge of new opportunities. They may in fact be looking for new people and you may be a good fit for the role based on your experience and skills. Thus, reaching out to such professionals is always a great idea and highly recommended.
b. Recruiters, hiring managers, and recruitment agencies
Keeping in touch with recruitment agencies is always advisable as they are close to your target employers and the job market. Many companies hire external resources such as recruitment agencies to find the right people. Hence, it is their job to find the right people for the right jobs. If you maintain a good relationship with such entities, your chances of getting a job sooner increase.
Reaching out to recruiters and hiring managers from your target industry and company will benefit you by creating a personal touch. Their ability to refer you for roles in their company or other suitable opportunities, even in the future, may assist you in landing your dream role. Therefore, we highly recommend you to connect with such professionals and look out for relevant opportunities.
c) Career strategists
With their expertise, career strategists will help you find the right opportunities by leveraging the right tools. Their guidance on job search optimization and networking with key professionals will take you a step closer to landing your dream job. Career consulting bridges the gap between your current and target jobs by helping you realize your interests, strengths, and areas of improvement. Connecting with the right strategist can take you a long way.
Some of the platforms that you can use to connect with these professionals are:
We have two key tips for reaching out to professionals for networking:
a. Use email identification tools
Using Sales Navigator on LinkedIn premium will make it easier for you to shortlist the right people based on your requirements.
Professional networking has helped thousands of job seekers land their dream roles. If you are someone who is actively looking for a job, we would advise you to keep working on your networking strategy to amplify your success rate. Look for people who you believe can add value to you and be prepared to reciprocate their favor.