How To Network For A Job Like A Recruiter
The ability to network for your career is one of the most valuable skills an individual can have. If done the right way it can lead to an abundance of opportunities you never thought possible. Done the wrong way and it can lead you to a big waste of time. The difference between those who are successful at networking for jobs and those who are not is the way they approach it.
Below I am going to share with you a few simple tips that I have used professionally as a recruiter to network. Incorporating the same practice will help you become better at networking starting today.
Focus On Companies That Are Interested In You
Before you decide to network with a company make sure they are a good match for you. You don’t want to cast a big wide net. That is a waste of time and energy. You want to focus all of your effort and attention on companies you know will benefit from your experience, skills, education and abilities.
You want to be able to bring something to the table like technical skills, sales ability, specific work experience even a just a fresh perspective or solution to a tough problem can do the trick. Thus it is essential to take the time to identify the companies you know would be interested in you and what you have to offer.
Questions to ask before you start networking with somebody
- Question #1 – What companies do I really want to work for?
- Question #2 – How can I add value to said companies?
- Questions #3 – Why should these companies hire me?
Every day is a new opportunity to get your name in front of potential employers. You should always be locating and identifying new opportunities.
With the type of positions and companies in mind we can start networking the right way. We want to hack this entire approach in order to save time so let’s move on
It’s not always what you know but who you know
Find Out Who’s In Charge
Once you have answered these three qualifying questions you need to find out who is in charge of doing the hiring. This could be a general manager, HR Generalist or a Recruiter.
How do we find out who is in charge of the hiring process?
The fastest way is simply to call in to get this information.
“I noticed a position on your website and would love to apply for it, I just needed to know to whom to address my cover letter?”
Alternatively you can look online and find it.
How to find the name of the hiring person – Try the following methods
- Search LinkedIn for hiring/onboarding/staffing/HR/Manager + Company name
- Look at their website, about us page, meet the team, etc.
If you have uncovered the name you can go a step further and try to get their e-mail address.
A simple Google search with [ NAME + E-Mail + Company ] should do the trick
How To Find Out If Its A Good Place To Work
This too is something you can do online. Search around and see if you can find people who have either previously worked for the company or are currently working for the company. You want to make sure this company is a good fit for you and the best way to do that is to find out what others have to say about it.
This is the exact same technique recruiters use to find the right candidate to fill a position. This is known as competitive intelligence and it can prove to be one of your most valuable assets. Ask any questions you think will help you decide if a company is right for you. You will be surprised what people will share with you if you put them at ease and simply ask.
Use LinkedIn to connect and reach out to employees who have previously worked at your desired company. Let them know that you are interviewing for a long term role and you would like to find out what the work environment is like.
If the person is receptive to your call you can inquire further as to what skills are the most important to have, what the company is up to and even the benefits and pay. Don’t take everything they say as fact. Instead try to gauge the person, if they are hesitant or have an overly negative impression for example, the information may not reflect reality.
I really dare you to reach out to 5 people who have previously worked at a company you are ether intending to apply to or have applied to. If you think this is crazy and absurd then you need to toughen up a bit.
Let’s discuss the next step and the benefits of strategically networking
Make A Decision
Once you have gathered all needed information it’s time to make a final decision.
Is this company a good fit for you?
You are basically giving yourself the ability to pick and choose which companies are right for you. It’s the exact same way recruiter’s network every day.
Here is the critical component for this entire process to work right
After you are done talking with a previous employee ask if they mind you mentioning their name during the recruitment process.
You should only do this if the feedback you received from them is positive. If they still have a great relationship with the company using their name may benefit you greatly. Stating that you have been referred by a pervious employee is very powerful
We will dive into the finer details of things next week. Enter you e-mail below to receive updates on our networking series.
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