One of the best things to do when looking for a new job is to network. Speaking to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours or attending events such as RICS Recruit Live can have some significant benefits in your search.
If networking is something you still find daunting, remind yourself of the many advantages it can offer.
People like working with people they know
There’s nothing that can take an application to the top of the pile faster than a recommendation from a trusted source. Everyone likes to know the people they work with, so having someone talk you up to an employer can give you a big advantage.
It’s also a way to let potential employers know about qualities that don’t show up in your application – such as your personality – as well as confirming the ones that do – such as your skills. The reason this is so important is because …
Job postings get lots of applicants
Recruiters and employers can receive hundreds of applications for a single role, so standing out is essential.
If your networking prowess has earned you a recommendation, you’ll immediately move into a smaller, less competitive pool of applicants, possibly even jumping the queue at the application stage.
Some jobs aren’t advertised
Conversely, there are some employers who don’t even advertise vacancies openly, so the only way you’ll even hear about them is through word of mouth.
On other occasions, you can build relationships with potential employers and show them your value. This can sometimes even lead to them creating a role just for you.
You’ll meet new people with similar interests
Job hunting can take time, and not every person you meet will offer you a job. However, by attending networking events and putting yourself out there, you’ll still meet a lot of new people. And you’re pretty much guaranteed to have something in common with them – namely, being in the same business.
Turning these relationships into friendships means you’ll keep in touch more, so when an opportunity does come around, you’ll be at the front of their mind.
It takes you out of isolation
Looking for a new job can be a lonely process, and many job seekers can start to feel as though they’re fighting an uphill battle.
By asking others for help, you’ll gain valuable allies to help in your search and keep you motivated. And when you finally do land your dream job, you’ll have plenty of people to congratulate you and celebrate with.
You’re already doing it
At its core, networking just means meeting new people. That can mean friends, friends of friends or new neighbours, or making connections on LinkedIn.
Start thinking about all the people you know – any one of them could be a valuable resource in your job search. Also, many professions will put on networking events for people just like you; RICS regularly holds such events for free.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there – at the end of the day, people want to help you.