It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. That may be cliché, but it’s true. When it comes to finding a job, who you know matters. Consider this statistic from LinkedIn: 85 percent of all jobs are filled through networking.
Taking advantage of your connections is one of the best things you can do during your job search. But it can be hard to know where to begin. Follow these tips on using your network to find a job:
Attend networking events
Networking events are a great way to meet new people in your industry. There are several local networking groups in Kansas City. Some are industry specific and others are for professionals in general. Here are just a few:
One of the largest AAF clubs in the country, AAF-KC holds multiple events throughout the year geared toward marketing and advertising professionals.
Network After Work is a national networking company with monthly mixer events. Launched in 2009, it has become the largest and fastest growing organization of its kind.
The KC Chamber of Commerce holds multiple events and networking opportunities for both members and non-members.
Kansas City Young Professionals Networking Society
This networking group for young professionals holds regular happy hour events throughout Kansas City.
You should already have an idea of some companies you’re interested in. Search your connections to see if you know anyone that works there. Thirty-four percent of employers cite employee referrals as the best source for new talent, so see if any of your connections would be willing to give you a referral. Plus, a lot of companies don’t advertise every job they have, so your connections may be able to give you the inside scoop on their open positions.
If their company isn’t hiring right now, try to set up an informational interview. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate your interest in the company and gain more information about the types of roles they have.
There’s a good chance that your former co-workers have moved on and are now with a new employer. Utilize these connections to see if they know of any opportunities at their new company. Give them a call or send an email to catch up. See if they want to meet for coffee and probe them for any info about their new place of employment. If there is an opportunity you’re interested in, see if they will give you a referral.
Work with a recruiter
Expand your network by working with a recruitment firm like Morgan Hunter. Recruiters have a vast network of employer connections for you to take advantage of. Plus, recruiters act as an advocate for you. Many times, a staffing firm is not paid for their work unless their candidate is hired — so it’s in our best interest to work as hard as we can to land you the job.
Staffing firms also have access to many jobs that aren’t publicly listed, increasing your chance of finding the right opportunity.