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How To Utilize Your Network During The Job Hunt

The job hunt is hard. I recently spoke to someone who applied for over 300 jobs before landing the one that she is currently at. THREE HUNDRED! That is so many job applications. Not to mention a lot of time spent as well. But being aggressive is necessary in the job hunt.

This is not everyone’s job hunt story though. There are folks who can simply apply to one or two jobs and get a new job. Why is that? Because they are correctly utilizing their networks. They know someone at the company they are interested in working in and already have a leg in. They are not just another piece of paper on a recruiter’s desk. They are not just another resume that does not stand out. They are real people who have real people, already working in the organization, to advocate for them.

Now, how do you go about this? Here are some ideas as to how to utilize your network during the job hunt.

How To Utilize Your Network During The Job Hunt

1. Email your resume to your contacts.

How can your contacts pass on your resume if they do not have it? Furthermore, how can your contacts help you in the job hunt if they do not know you are in the job hunt?

Write an email… or two. One email should be a bit more personal and sent to your friends and family (i.e. those that you know) telling them that you are looking for your next change and to let you know if they hear of any openings (either at their company or another one) to let you know or to pass along your resume.

Another email should be a bit more professional and sent to any business contacts whose email addresses you have.

Remember to specify what type of opportunity you are looking for, your preferred location, and that you are open to grabbing a coffee and chatting more.

2. Reach out to folks on LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn is the site for professional networking… so why are you not utilizing it? Folks connect with each other on LinkedIn for a reason — to reach more professional opportunities.

Go through your connections and see who works at any company or field that is of interest of you. See who just changed jobs and ask them for advice. Spend a few minutes scrolling down your news feed and see who is posting about what, you never know, maybe you’ll see an opportunity posted on there.

Do not be afraid to privately message someone, especially one of your contacts. They connected with you for a reason. The worst that could happen is that they simply do not respond. And, if you are able to, post a status about how you are looking for new opportunities.

3. Ask your friends. 

Shoot a quick text in your group chat saying that you are looking for a new job and asking if any of them have any contacts they could connect you with.

Your friends may have business contacts you may not even have realized — never just assume that they do not. Ask them to keep their eyes open for openings at their jobs.

Ask them to take a look at their LinkedIn news feed or at their LinkedIn connections, as they are bound to be connected to different people than you are. Let your friends help you any way they can.

Plus, your friends are your peers — they know your work ethic, your skill level, your experience. They can sell you better than anyone. They likely also know better any openings that would be a fit to you.

4. Take advantage of other social media channels. 

Facebook is not technically for professional networking, but if you are Facebook friends with someone working in your desired field, shoot them a message, explain you are looking for a new position, and ask if they are willing to chat with you.

If one of your Facebook friends works at a company you are interested in, message them to let them know you are in the job hunt and would love to connect further about potential opportunities at their company.

Post a status about how you are looking for a change and ask your Facebook friends if they know of any opportunities.

This can also apply to Twitter. If you are able to, message people that you follow who may be of benefit to you. If you are able to, tweet about the fact that you are looking and be sure to use appropriate hashtags for the field you would like to get into.

Whereas on Facebook you tend to know everyone you are friends with personally, on Twitter you are likely following (and followed by) folks you may not know in real life. Do not forget to utilize them, as they may be able to help you more than you think.

When it comes to utilizing your network in your job hunt, the most important thing is that they must know you are in the job hunt. Make it known to them any way you can.

Direct messaging is always a good tactic, as it’s more personal and more people tend to respond. It will not hurt to post a status on social media — just be sure that you do not do this if your current job does not know that you are in the job hunt!

Simply, do not be afraid to reach out to your network. Cast your net as far and wide as you can. Your results will be more abundant if you do.

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.