If you are in the market for a new job, never underestimate the power of networking. Everyone should have a network of people that they know who would be willing to assist them in their job search, says Harry Tatum, a human resources consultant.
Why is networking important? Harry cites several advantages to making others aware of your job search, including:
- Network contacts may hear of jobs available;
- Network contacts may actually mention you to an employer;
- Network contacts may have input on your resume (comments or thoughts to improve it);
- Network contacts may be a sounding board for general advice.
If you’re wondering where to begin in building your network, Harry advises putting at least 50 names on paper, starting with people closest to you, such as adult family members, former and current co-workers and neighbors, then expanding your list to include people you may see less frequently such as high school friends, members of your church and military buddies.
Using this list proactively and efficiently is key to learning about new employment opportunities and keeping your resume fresh, counsels Harry. He recommends calling or emailing three or four contacts per day (keep a record) with a sample introduction like this: “Hi, it’s Harry from high school. Remember me? I am a doing a job search and would like to share my resume with you for your comments. Can I send you a copy and get your thoughts?”
Most of your network contacts will be honored to get a phone call and be asked for their help. It’s a very powerful step to aid in the job hunting process—and it’s free!
Harry Tatum is a volunteer with Goodwill and provides job search and resume development assistance. Need job search advice? Email Harry at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your question addressed in a future blog post.