By Beth Lane 13 Sep 2022 6 min read

How to network when job hunting

When it comes to job hunting, people get overwhelmed by numerous strategies put at their disposal. Some may send hundreds of applications to companies hiring employees while others may reach out to acquaintances within the industry to help secure a job. Nonetheless, it all comes down to one thing – networking. Networking doesn’t mean pestering people with your problems. With limited time at our hands, it is only possible to network with a few people, especially those within your field. 

In order to get good traction for a job search, you should focus on various networking strategies, so if you can utilise networking in multiple ways, you’ll have greater chances to secure a job. Efficient networking guarantees that all your effort put into developing connections is worth the time. Here are some tips to consider when networking for job hunting. 

  1. Use online resources like LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful arsenals for job hunting. The majority of recruiters use LinkedIn to advertise for vacancies and find the perfect fit for their vacant posts. You not only need to create a profile on LinkedIn but also use a proactive approach to enhance your visibility to recruiters. By seeking the attention of professionals, you’ll have more chances to get an offer. How to use LinkedIn for job hunting? Try to optimise your profile on LinkedIn to narrow down your search for jobs and pursue a specific career path. Moreover, you can connect with the people working in the companies where you want to work. This will give you a cultural insight into the company and you can obtain information about the company’s work and values, its performance in the industry, and its role in the market. 


  1. Referrals and personal network

Though it’s tempting to know people only virtually, having a personal interaction is even more beneficial. Rather than just talking to people over an email or a few messages, schedule an appointment with them or have a ‘meet n greet’ over lunch. This boosts your personal relationships and expands your scope of jobs. It is natural that over the years of working in a particular field or industry, you make some friends and acquaintances. Knowing them and building relationships with them can increase your chances of landing a job.  Additionally, you can have someone refer you for a vacant post in their company. Having a recommendation from an industry professional brings credibility to your resume. So, do not be hesitant to start a conversation with anyone, be it professionally or due to common interests. 


  1. Job fairs 

Job fairs are a great way to increase your personal connections. At such events, various companies gather together for recruiters to connect with potential employees. Try to come out of your comfort zone, ask open-ended questions, and let your skills shine bright. Demonstrate your skills and abilities to the recruiters to let them determine your worth. Share your previous job experiences and efforts, regardless of any outcome. Be confident and encourage yourself to do your best at the job fairs. Don’t forget to share your resume with different companies that interest you. Make an impressive resume with a strong cover letter, as you’ll be shortlisted for an interview based on your resume. 


  1. Networking events 

Networking events are different from job fairs. These events may include conferences or expositions where people from within a specific industry attend an event together and expand their network. You need to have your business card and resume with you to hand in both things to the right people who’ll help you with your job hunt. Besides looking for work opportunities, volunteer to help those in your network in any way you can, regardless of whether they can assist you or not. 


  1. Follow-ups 

To determine whether networking is worthwhile or not, a follow-up is essential. You also need to follow up with the new connections you made after the first interaction. The best form of follow-up is either an email or a phone call. You can always email your connections – thank them for meeting with you, ask questions or discuss recent industry trends or common interests. You may call friends or colleagues who are close to you; congratulate them on their accomplishments or discuss the job dynamics across the globe. A follow-up may seem a small gesture but it continues to strengthen your network. 


Frequently asked questions 

How can networking help you with job hunting?

Networking helps increase job leads. Your networks can help provide recommendations or company insight if you’re interested in working at some place. They can also help you in deciding your career path by providing information on different career fields. You can also learn about the dynamics of the job market in different parts of the country as well as across the globe. 

How do you network when not looking for a job?

If you’re not looking for a job, you can still network with people who share similar interests as you. You can virtually meet new people, talk to them about things besides business and still learn a great deal of things that are of value outside of work. This can help you in the future if you ever think of career change. 

What are your top 3 networking tips?

  1. Don’t hesitate to start conversations. You can ask open-ended questions from your networks, appreciate their achievements, and listen to their experiences.

  2. Market yourself. You must always be ready to give your pitch on the right spot and at the right time. Share your strengths and weaknesses. 

  3. Mark your online presence. Networking on social media platforms is an effective networking strategy. 

How do you land a job with no connections?

  1. Create a strong resume

  2. Develop an impressive cover letter

  3. Hone your interview skills

  4. Use strong referrals

  5. Demonstrate your value by letting your skills and abilities shine

  6. Expand your network to help in your career path

What is networking in simple words?

Simply put, networking is considered to be an exchange of ideas and information among a group of people connected to each other through a platform. These people may come across together on the basis of common interests, a common profession or an informal setting. Networking can be done both virtually and in person.