How To Use Your Network To Find A Job

get a job with your network

The following guest post was promoted from the forums. It was written by Mark who runs the website MortgagesByMark.com.

According to Nick Corcodilos of AskTheHeadhunter.com, only 4% of job posters in a recent poll found jobs online using job sites such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Headhunter, etc. Yet, this is often the primary place job hunters look for future employment. If you were seriously ill and one of the treatment options available offered you only a 4% chance of survival, might you consider a different treatment?

This is not to say that posting a resume on Monster is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just good to be aware of your chances of actually finding a job that way. It’s possible you could find a job on Monster, and it’s good to give yourself all the exposure you can, but if you want to increase your odds of landing a job, you need to get more creative. With so many people out of work, employers are getting stacks and stacks of resumes. How are you going to stand out when you’re just one in a stack of hundreds or thousands?

Using Your Network To Find A Job

In my career, I’ve never gotten a job from a job board. Pretty much every position I’ve gotten has been through somebody I know. Employers love referrals from trusted people because the prospect is no longer an unknown quantity. They’re not just a piece of paper on which somebody can say anything! If a trusted person can vouch for you, you’ve got a far better chance of landing a position than just emailing a resume or posting on a job board.

When searching for a job, the best place to start your search is with family, friends, and former colleagues. Work your existing network of contacts and let people know what your skills are and that you’re looking for work. It’s worth posting a resume on the big job boards just so you’re getting the additional exposure, but your primary focus should be on networking, in my opinion. Also, set up a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one and start networking that way with everybody you can, old high school friends, family, former colleagues, local business owners you know, etc. You’d be surprised how many people are on LinkedIn. It’s a great resource for networking.

While you’re tapping your existing network, start expanding it! If you’re unemployed, you probably have a lot more free time than you did before. Use it to get out and meet people! The more contacts you make, and the more people that get to know you, the greater the possibilities you have of landing your next position.

The following are some ideas for expanding your contact network:

1) Do “pro bono” consulting work for firms in your area. If you have a useful skill that businesses need, help them out and keep your skills current in the process. Working “pro bono” allows potential employers to take you for a risk-free “test drive” and offers you opportunities to network with people. If the business you’re working with doesn’t have a position available, they might like you enough to create one or recommend you to somebody that has an open position.

2) Volunteer for as many charities as you can. Not only will you help a great cause, it will give you a great, natural high to be helping people out and doing good with your free time. It will give you an opportunity to make contacts, and you can fill in that growing hole in your resume’s employment history with something that looks really impressive. I think a prospective employer would be impressed that you chose to volunteer while you’re unemployed instead of sitting at home all day watching reruns.

3) Attend mixer events. These may not be as common in smaller communities, but if you live in larger ones, start attending them and meeting people. Offer your services on a pro bono basis as mentioned before. You never know who you might meet!

4) Attend adult education classes and get to know everybody in the room. Often you can “audit” classes for free, and many of the people attending will be professionals getting additional education to enhance their careers. Any of these people could be potential contacts that will help you get your next job. And the education doesn’t hurt either; spending time learning keeps your brain active and can help you keep your skills and knowledge current.

5) Finally, and absolutely most importantly, keep a good, positive attitude at all times. Do not allow yourself to fall into the I’m-never-going-to-get-a-job despair that all too easily can overtake you when the job market is tough, bills are piling up, and unemployment checks are running out. Again, this is why volunteering could be absolutely essential – it will keep your attitude positive. Desperation and despair can be smelled from a mile away, and you don’t want a whiff of it around you when you’re meeting potential employers.

Hopefully these ideas are helpful. Being out of a job is not fun – I know from personal experience – but it is what it is, right? When life throws you lemons, make lemonade! Stay positive and get out and meet people. You’ll have fun, build your contact network, and it just might land you your next job!

Photo by Sue Waters

Ready to Quit Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck?

Just click to join 225,000+ others and take our FREE email course to better manage your money, pay off debt, and save! And get FREE access to our money-saving workshop ($29 value)!

Related Articles:



3 Comments
  1. Nate Hall

    Great article! I absolutely agree. No matter what one’s profession is, networking is very helpful. My professional life has been aided through networking.

    Where everything has gone online, this is a very useful way to separate yourself from the list of other names and resumes.

  2. Anonymous

    I found this to be somewhat helpful, but somewhat not. This is okay advice for someone who has a lot of free time on their hands. Some underemployed/unemployed people have to have part-time jobs and thus don’t have as much time to network and volunteer. And if you ready Nick Corcodilos’ book “Ask the Headhunter” he actually advises that people not work for free for companies. I also have to say that the “positive attitude” stuff doesn’t make or break you, but overly optimistic Americans like to think it does and thus emphasize it unceasingly. All the best to those out looking right now. Blessings and peace.

  3. NANKUNDA DOREEN

    This is so good i had never considered online as an opportunity to get employment.
    Will try that. Thank you so much for the