By Michelle Wanjiku
The truth is 80% of jobs are not advertised, they are filled mostly by recommendations. This means that in order to increase your chances of actually getting a job you want, you need to expand your network circle.
This will greatly increase the number of job opportunities that you come across and improve your chances of getting a job.
So, as a job seeker, how do you ensure that you hear about these unadvertised jobs?
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1. Reach high up
The first thing you need to do is figure out who you need to talk to. One of the most important things when it comes to networking is ensuring you make the right connections.
When it comes to building your networks, always strive to make connections with people who hold a position above the one you are targeting.
For example, if you’re looking for an entry-level position, you should strive to connect with managers; if you’re aiming for a mid-level position, go for senior managers and directors.
This is not to say that people at the same level or lower than you can’t help you get jobs, they can but some might be hesitant to tell you about a position in their organization that they want and might think of you as competition.
2. Reach out
Just having all these people in your network is not enough, unless you actually form a sort of relationship with them, they won’t be willing to help you
Just because you have the contact details of someone at a certain company doesn’t mean they will automatically tell you if an open position comes up.
You have to ensure that everyone you meet and network with can remember you so that when opportunities come around they will contact you.
3. Know Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is basically your answer to the question “what do you do?”
As a job seeker, you need to be able to answer this question clearly and within a very short period of time. A great elevator pitch could make you memorable to the people you meet and they will remember you when they are looking to hire someone who does what you do or hears of a position similar to what you do.
4. Keep Your Goal in Mind
If you don’t know exactly what you want, it will be very difficult for someone else to know what positions to recommend you for.
So the first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what you want in terms of what positions you want to be recommended for and what sort of organizations you would want to work for.
This will make it easier for you to tell your networks exactly what you are looking for, which in turn makes it easier for them to help you out.
Finding a good job is a lot of work, it requires a lot of dedication and resilience. But all of the hard work won’t amount to much unless you actually know of available open job positions. This is where networking comes in. If done right, networking will help you land jobs you otherwise wouldn’t know are available.