Over the past decade job hunting using employment agency recruiters, job boards and networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have become commonplace choices. Guess what? the real truth is that “old fashion”direct networking still remains the overall winner when it comes to actually getting leads that convert to actual hires.
According to the most recent numbers, an experienced sales person (in 2014) had a 14% chance of being placed by a recruiter; a 24% chance via print, job boards and corporate career pages; and a 72% chance being hired through professional and personal connections.
To take full advantage of this information, it is important that you make a plan. An effective job hunting plan requires a performance-based resume, an understanding of how recruiters find candidates, and applying through the backdoor. Networking is the key to the backdoor and should account for most of your efforts once your resume is in shape.
We all belong to several distinct networks–family, friends, colleagues, civic groups, etc. Any of these can help you find a job, but you’ll want to focus on networks with people who can help you achieve your goal. Start by making a list of professional contacts in the area or specialty where you’re looking for a new position. These are your telephone and email contacts, LinkedIn connections, and other professionals you’ve met throughout your career.
Prioritize the names on your list with the strongest relationships on top and start reaching out to them first to share your career goals. Those contacts who you don’t know as well will need some warming up. Build your relationship with them by being a resource yourself whenever possible and finding reasons to reconnect or get to know them better.
Remember to maintain communication with your network. You never know when an opportunity will arise and you want to be the first person they think about. If all of this seems like too much, or you’re strapped for time, there are services out there that can help. Check out Joe Baker’s www.smartconnect4u.com video to learn how the SmartConnect program can connect you with real people and companies in the specialty where you want your next job.