Applying to job postings vs. networking to find a job

networkI have talked primarily in this blog about the “traditional” job search process. That being defined as scouring job postings either online or in the printed media.
Although this is a necessary part of the complete job search experience, it really is inefficient and mostly yields low results.
The other fact is most people who apply don’t get called back about the job  nor do they get hired through this process.
So you may ask why even waste time if applying to public job postings is such an exercise in futility? Good question. There are a few good reasons:

  • Although the yield is low, given the current state of the job market do you want to turn away any possible avenues of employment opportunities? People win lotteries even when the odds are in the 1 and hundreds of millions against you.
  • You may not get the job, but you will probably get some phone and in-person interviews. All interviews are good. Each one you go on is a practice session for the next one and will make you a sharper and more comfortable interviewer
  • Applying to posted jobs is a prime motivator for keeping your resume updated and having a good stable of cover letters ready
  • Low investment of time. Nowadays, you can do a proper online application to a job in under a minute, so why not?

Where you’re going to be the most successful in finding a job is through networking. This scares some people because they feel: A. They don’t have a large network that would connect them to their next job, or B. It involves cold calling or some sort of intrusive behavior similar to hitting up friends and family to get them to buy what they are selling (I won’t use examples as not to offend any profession:-) )

Even if I don’t know you, I can tell you with relative certainty: A. Your network is bigger than you think and B. Everyone appreciates the importance of being employed and will want to help if they are truly a friend/family/business acquaintance. Part of  good networking (and basic human kindness) is helping make a connection between two people even though there is no (immediate) financial benefit to you. This is what builds relationships.

In the next post, I will show you how to quickly ramp-up your networking activity using LinkedIN. I am sure most of you know of LinkedIN or even have a profile on there, but most don’t use it in a way that maximizes its power. Here is my profile. Even though you may not have the same occupation or are using LinkedIn for the same purpose as me, you can see the things I do to network. And…I just did some networking!

Don’t be scared of networking. Be more scared of the effects of not doing it!

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