You’ve heard the saying “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.”
Well, it turns out that both are important. You don’t need an “in” to get a job; a recent survey found that about 40% of people looking for work find a new job by applying for a job opening. However, who you know sure can help! The same survey found that more – almost half of job seekers – find new jobs through networking.
Companies often use networking to hire because it takes some of the risk out of the hiring process Hiring someone they know, or that someone they trust vouches for, ups the odds that the company will find a good fit - someone with proven skills and experience and a personality that will gel with the team. Many of these job openings will never even be officially announced, because someone will refer the hiring manager to a good candidate first.
How can you tap this hidden job market? Network, of course!
Networking might sound intimidating or even cliché, but it’s something we do every day. If your car breaks down and you need a good mechanic, you might ask your neighbor for a recommendation or post the question to your friends on Facebook. We rely on people we know for information and support. And, it’s a two-way street, isn’t it? We benefit, but we also help our circle of friends and acquaintances. If you learn a neighbor had surgery, you might bring a meal. If your friend’s daughter starts babysitting, you might offer to hire her. We all have networks – people we interact with for mutual benefit.