Believe it or not, 80% of jobs are found through networking. You are probably sending out hundreds of applications and hope for the best, but this is not how you are going to achieve success. It boils down to one thing: networking.
The bulk of your time should be spent networking. My rule of thumb is: for every job you apply for, find someone to reach out to inquire about the position. There are different strategies to do this. I am going to walk through each one here.
- LinkedIn-this is the tool in your arsenal. The majority of recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to find candidates. Ensure you have a complete profile, be active on LinkedIn. What does that mean? Post articles, like or comment on others’ posts.
- Personal Network/Referrals -it is about who you know. Take advantage of personal connections, friends and acquaintances. Warm reach outs often yield great results. Don’t feel like you are bothering someone if you reach out to network. They were there once, and someone helped them. Most companies continue to offer referral bonuses, so even if you don’t know someone well, it benefits them by referring you.
- Career Fairs-recruiters come to campus (this year expect it to be in person) to find great candidates. Make sure to connect before and after the career fair. It might be hard to stand out in the crowd at the actual fair itself, so differentiate yourself by sending LinkedIn requests and/or requesting an informational interview.
- Networking Organizations-many professional associations are bringing back in-person networking events. This is a great way to meet like minded professionals. Bring your resume, and/or make sure to get the names of those you meet so you can connect with them after the event.