9 June 2017
Networking is key

After reading a recent headline titled ‘Is the CV dead?’, it got us thinking. Yes, the CV is still an important part of the hiring process, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out on a piece of paper in a pile as high as a human. So, what can candidates do to get themselves heard?

We have seen lots of nifty tricks to getting an employer’s attention to leaving a fake CV passport in offices to sending cakes iced with job experiences and skills on it. However, nothing gets a candidate ahead like networking. And networking today is a game that you must be taking part in.

In a recent survey, 77% of respondents to Korn Ferry’s questions said that networking was the most important part of the job search with 16% responding that interviews were the most important part of the process.

So, is networking key?

The best job opportunities are often awarded to those in a company’s network and it makes complete sense. The person has worked for the company, understands it’s culture, but most of all, the employer knows the traits of the individual.

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and with the overcrowded sea of eager candidates along with recent graduates, jobs are receiving a high number of applicants per role. Surely your success should be based on your strengths and experience, not on who you know. It is important to extend your network as far as you can in order to be in the know when a new role becomes available.

Networking events are popping up all over, offering people a chance to go and mingle. These occasions offer you the chance to meet people in a variety of roles or industries. Your objective can be simply to meet business contacts for your current business or to seek new opportunities in other organisations. A network can be family, friends, past work colleagues, classmates etc. Anyone you have had some sort of interaction is a part of your network and it’s perfectly fine to ask them for help every once in a while.

Think about networking this way as well, if you reach out to your network of 50 people and those 50 people know 50 people that 2,500 people that could find out that you are looking for an opportunity. Getting people to refer you or advocate on your behalf is critical.  If someone with influence recommends you to those in charge of hiring, you’ll stand out from the crowd of other candidates. Referrals work because people want to work with people they know, trust, and respect.

LinkedIn offers a great networking platform to find and source people in desired roles or companies that takes your fancy. You can also follow companies and see if and when they post a job advert on their company page. Having personal and professional contacts is the key to career success.

It’s never too late to begin, you just have to take the leap and see what happens. Could networking become the future to finding a job as the population continues to grow and automation takes control?

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