The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70% of jobs are attained through networking. As Martin Yates, Author of the Knock ‘em Dead series writes, “employees who come to the company ‘known by us’ in some way are seen to be better hires and thought to get up to speed more quickly and stay with the company longer.” If you are applying for a job online, making a personal connection within the company can significantly increase your chances of getting the interview, and ultimately the job. In short, knowing the right people will help you land the right job.
Start making your way to the hiring manager by utilizing several strategies for building relationships within the company.
- Leveraging Current Contacts
Using LinkedIn is an excellent way to identify individuals who work at the company you wish to join. Through LinkedIn you can utilize your current connections and extended professional network to get in touch with someone at the company who could serve as a personal reference or directly connect you with the hiring manager.
- Developing New Contacts
The smartest jobseekers actively build new connections in addition to leveraging their current network. The process of forming new professional relationships can be conducted online, and is further accelerated in-person by attending career fairs, networking events, and local social gatherings.
- Making a Direct Connection
When, and if, to reach out directly to a hiring manager is often a difficult decision. As a general rule, make direct contact only after you have exhausted all potential connections you may have with the hiring manager. To ensure you have exhausted all potential connections, visit the company website to locate a staff directory, and search all employees on LinkedIn to determine if you have any degree of connection. Likely, the best approach is to first reach out to someone in the company who works in the same department or has a similar job title as the one listed in the job posting. If successful in forming a relationship, these individuals will be best suited to vouch for professional skills you possess most relevant to the position you are seeking.
The “how” and “whom” to connect with in an organization will vary with each job you are seeking. Once you have identified a position you would like to apply for, contact your AthLife advisor for help in determining the most effective networking strategies for your situation.