After providing a newly edited resume to our customers they are often not sure what the next steps to take are. The next step after a getting a great resume is networking! However, what exactly does “networking” look like?
There are generally three different methods for successful networking: attending networking events, utilizing LinkedIn®, and connecting through warm hand-offs.
When individuals hear the term “networking event,” many different ideas can come to mind. Depending on the size of the city they reside in this may look like a chamber of commerce meeting or even a city-wide business event hosted solely for the purpose of exchanging cards and referrals. Whether the client in employed or unemployed at the time the most important tool is their business card. This is the one piece of information prospective employers will take away and hopefully keep.
Make sure the business card is “in the breast pocket of a coat, a shirt pocket, or in an outside pocket of a purse so they are easy to access and in good condition.” (http://careerconfidential.com/job-search-tip-how-to-handle-networking-events/) This may seem like a silly point but searching and sifting for a wrinkled business card will not leave a good impression.
After meeting several different owners, employees, and other job seekers it is necessary to immediately (as in when you get back to the car after leaving) go through the collected business cards and make notes. Hopefully during conversation points of common ground were covered. This will become valuable information during the next step of thanking prospective employers.
Networking Virtually- Utilizing LinkedIn
Thanks to LinkedIn, connecting with business professionals has never been easier. It is the perfect environment to send an invitation after only meeting once in person or never meeting at all. After finding an interesting job opening seek out the HR contact or even the name of management on their company website. The invitation should include a brief thank you, followed by the interest in the open position (or any future open positions). Write something similar to “Feel free to take a look at my profile where I’ve included additional job experience and activities.”
LinkedIn allows future employers to see not only your entire job history but associations, memberships, volunteer activity, and even university groups. Any of these activities can add to the prospective employer’s interest and wanting an interview. Once the message has been sent it is imperative to keep the profile updated and active. This can be done easily every day. LinkedIn’s official blog features and article titled “How to Conquer Your Job Search on LinkedIn in 15 Minutes a Day” which suggests simple actions like posting interesting industry-relevant articles and endorsing other connections.
Establishing Credibility Quickly—the Hand-off in Networking
The warm handoff can be essential to landing that dream job. This simply means having someone who knows the prospective employer introducing the eager client through an in person conversation, virtual message (like LinkedIn), or even an email with an attached resume. The handoff creates instant credibility, skipping a lot of the virtual and networking steps to grab the professional’s attention and keep it.
Every job hunt is different but it is important to do more than just apply online for a posted job opening. Utilizing the mentioned methods will truly help individuals to take charge of their job search. Giving clients the extra pointers may help them get the newly edited resume right into the hands of the hiring manager!