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Networking

Reprinted from PN June 2012

Informally interacting with others can create job opportunities.

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Loosely defined, networking is interacting informally with others for assistance, and it is a skill that can be learned and used to create and grow business relationships.

Did you know that the odds of finding a job with a phone call are 1 in 5? Sending out a resumé, 1 in 254? And by filling out an application are 1 in 300?

The way most successful job applicants look for jobs and the way employers look for employees may not always jibe. Networks can be an important part of your job-search strategy.

Building a Network

Who do you include? Consider those in this list:

-         Neighbors

-         School counselors

-         Military contacts

-         Sports leagues

-         Insurance agent

-   Relatives

-         Veterans groups

-         Associations and groups you belong to

-         Barber or beautician

-         Clergymen/-women

-         Former co-workers

-         Industry contacts

-         Job club

-         Banker

Make a list. Don’t leave anyone out, even if the person is not someone involved in the industry you are interested in or knows the kind of work you do well. The person in your network may know someone who could help or even hire you.

A Quick Statement

Use a brief 30-second statement, such as the example below, to sell yourself on the telephone, in person, at job fairs, etc.

 “Hello, my name is _________.”

“I am an experienced _____.”

“I have _____  years of experience in ________ field.”

“My strongest skills are in _________.”

“I have received recognition for _________.”

“I am interested in working in the field of ______________.”

The Internet

It’s popular for employers to recruit job applicants online. Often recruiters or others with hiring authority read or search message boards or specialty websites of interest looking for talent.

But be careful about your online presentation and how you sound and look. Carefully choose your words and what you want to convey. Check your grammar and spelling before you post.

Employers also use social media for recruiting. Social media include:

Linkedin: A professional network where members connect with each other and interact. Jobs are posted and it also includes forums for members to share ideas and news in their respective industries (linkedin.com).

Twitter: This is a place to “microblog,” and members can send and read messages called “tweets” that can be up to 140 characters. Tweets are displayed on the author’s profile page and are transmitted to followers.

Facebook: Users can add friends and send messages and give updates about their friends and themselves. Users can join networks organized by school, city and more (facebook.com).

Blogs: These are maintained by an individual with entries in the form of commentary, event descriptions, or other methods like graphics or video. Blogs offer comments and the ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive way.

Veterans with spinal-cord injury or disease (SCI/D) who may be receiving SSDI or SSI and wish to work may obtain help from a PVA certified vocational rehabilitation counselor. For more information, call 800-424-8200, visit pva.org, or email operationpave@pva.org.

 

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