As you continue with your job search, one piece of advice you will get is to build your network. A strong network of contacts can help you in a number of ways.
First, it is important to understand that a majority of jobs that are available are not necessarily posted on any job boards. In fact, many hiring managers will first look to their network of contacts and/or their in house recruiting staff’s set of contacts, before wading through the sea of resumes that arrive once a job has been posted.
Even if the job is posted, your network can still play an important role in helping your resume rise to the top.
Just imagine if you have posted a position to hire a new employee and you received over 100+ resumes. How would you work through the stack?
Many times, if one of the resumes has been referred by a person in your network or a person who works at your company, you will set it aside to review.
So how do you go about building a network? Many people worry about reaching out to colleagues or vendors to build their network.
However, an easy way to go about this is to set up a Linkedin profile and begin connecting to people you work with in your industry.
As you go about building your network, make sure that you do so in a manner that is mutually beneficial to both yourself and the person you are connecting with.
Don’t use the canned introduction offered by Linkedin, but rather, add a personal note explaining how you are connected and why you are reaching out.
Building a strong network is an important step in building your personal brand image. It won’t happen overnight – it will take time.
For this reason, it is best to start building it now and continue to add to you contacts on a regular basis.
That way, when you need to leverage your connections, they will already be in place.