Networking your Way to a New Job

You’ve undoubtedly heard it said many times, “The best way to get a job is through networking.”

How Companies Fill Jobs

Hire Economics: Why Applying to Jobs Is a Waste of Time, Lou Adler

Many job seekers believe that all job openings are posted on company websites, job boards, and social media sites such as LinkedIn. Actually this isn’t true. While you will find “public” job postings, there are some positions (often very good positions) that are in, what is called the “hidden job market.”

To understand this “hidden job market,” put yourself in the position of hiring manager. You have an opening for a position, so what do you do?  Probably the first thing you do is to ask people you know or people who work for you if they know of anyone that would be a candidate for the position. Why? Because considering people who are recommended, rather than hoping a “good fit” shows up from public postings, is typically a far more efficient and better way to hire.  And, another thing to keep in mind is that many positions are never “advertised.” This is why they call it the “hidden job market.”

So, while you are busy responding to open positions on job boards and company websites, the people that are hiring and the people that are recruiting for those that are hiring…are looking in other places.

Look back at the table above on “Hiring Economics,” and you will see that the majority of jobs are filled through internal promotions or through networking.

Therefore, to increase YOUR chances of being hired, you need to be “found”, and a great way to be found is by being connected and actively managing your connections—that is called networking!

According to Lou Adler, who is a “LinkedIn influencer” (I will talk more about these “influencers” in a future post in the Leveraging Social Media section), suggests that job seekers spend “…20% of the time responding to job postings by going through the back door rather than applying through the front, another 20% ensuring your resume and LinkedIn profile are easy to find and worth reading, and the remaining 60% networking to find jobs in the hidden market.”

If you are currently in the market for a new position, how are you spending your time?

For more information on how the job search has changed, take a look at this article from the Huffington Post: 10 Ways The Job Search Has Changed.

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