Why Networking Is Essential For Career Success Job Search?

You are obviously serious about finding your next position. You spend your days and nights at your computer, filling out online applications, writing cover letters, applying, applying, and applying.

But have you been networking?

Many job search experts consider networking to be the most important, most effective aspect of a job search. This might not be what you want to hear, because you cringe at the thought of approaching others about your need for employment. 

Career One Stop, a source for career exploration, training and jobs, says that networking is a key part of job hunting. The site takes the sting out of the idea of networking by describing it as simply “talking to others – either formally or informally – about your job search and career goals.” It encourages job-seekers to view networking as “not the same as asking for a job. Usually your networking contacts will not be potential employers.” It also reminds us that “an employer who is not hiring today may be looking for someone like you tomorrow.”

“Networking is about who you know rather than what you know, and it is more effective than virtually all other job search strategies,” says Joel Garfinkle in his blog post, The Key to a Successful Job Search: Networking your Way into a Job. “It’s giving and receiving information, ideas, referrals, recommendations, leads and support with others,” he says.

Lou Adler, CEO and founder of the The Adler Group, says, “Networking is how you turn 4-5 great contacts into 50-60 connections in 2-3 weeks.” In a LinkedIn article, he says networking should represent 60% of your job-hunting efforts – about 20-30 hours per week. “This is roughly 10-15 new contacts per week via the phone, which should convert into 5-6 one-on-one meetings every week.” Adler says you should spend the rest of your time on LinkedIn researching connections and job openings in their companies.

The National Public Radio show, All Things Considered, aired a special by Wendy Kaufman on 2/8/2015: “A Successful Job Search: It’s All About Networking.” Her guest was Matt Youngquist, the president of Career Horizons, who told job seekers that finding a new position presents the same challenges as taking a product to market. “It takes ‘X’ number of contacts to get this many appointments, to get this many chances of actually getting a sales opportunity or a job,” Youngquist says. “I do think volume is a big part of it.”

Kaufman refers to former job-seeker Terri Garfinkel, who emailed past employers after she was laid off from her job at a high-end retail bakery, telling them she was looking for a new position. It took a while, but she landed a job with someone she had worked for just briefly a decade ago.

Now, that’s the value of networking in a nutshell!


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