Searching for a job is a tedious process when you’ve been out of your preferred field for some time. However, because of your connections from previous positions you do have a base network you can work from to aid in the job placement. Likewise, you have an immense amount of opportunities to help network with new individuals through social media and other means which, combined with past connections, can expedite your job search.
The Networking Basics
You’ll be hard pressed to network as you would some decades ago – it’s hard to get your foot in the door when you rely on old means of connecting since many people are busy, have moved away, or simply don’t remember you.
The good news is that we have social media and a variety of online platforms that can help you reconnect with those important individuals and introduce you to a new batch that can help:
Step 1: Put out a post on Facebook talking about your current job situation and leave contact details in the event someone in your friends/family list may have an opportunity or may pass it forward.
Step 2: Sign up and fill out your profile on LinkedIn; it’s a professional network that acts as a virtual resume but also lets you directly connect with others in your field, reconnect with those in your rolodex, and search around for job listings within the platform.
Step 3: Dig out your old contacts from past work and begin a series of calls to reconnect. At the same time you should begin building a list of potential leads by using local resources to find businesses in your area that could use your expertise.
Step 4: Once you gain contact with people try to chat in-person or at least through a video conferencing tool like Skype. Face-to-face contact will build a better relationship, which will allow you to ease into the discussion of asking for job references or a leg up on your current employment situation.
Combining Networking with the Search
Now that you’ve built a collection of individuals that can aid in the process of your job search, it’s time to tap into your network. The important thing to remember is that there should be some form of value exchange; they are doing you a service by aiding in your search so keep in mind ways to pay them back if they’re able to help, whether it’s offering your services on the side or just being someone to talk to when they run into problems or issues – be a friend.
Step 1: Tap into a job resource website that aggregates and collects data on current job opportunities and the businesses that are seeking employees. Dig deeper into the site by clicking on the name of the business and doing a secondary search for their website to learn more about the company.
Step 2: Go ahead and piece together an updated resume that is tailored to the singled-out job listings you’ve found through this job search website. Great CV’s are ones which talk directly to the hiring manager (and company) so it would be wise to create a base template and modify it accordingly to the specific company or business to which you’re applying to.
Step 3: Run your CV and the prospect of the job through your network. At this point you can hear valuable feedback on how to improve your resume but you may also find that one of these individuals in your circle may know someone at the business/company or at least a competitor that could offer similar job opportunities. There’s no shame in asking someone if they can put in a good word especially if the job has individuals that are aligned with someone within your network.
Make it Your Job
The best advice I’ve heard about the hunt for work is that “job searching should be your job”; this is the sense that you need to put in just as much time into the search as you would if you had a job – it becomes your job now. Combine it with networking and it’ll expedite the process, no doubt, so be sure that networking takes a large role in this commitment to finding placement in your field.