So far we’ve explored finding career clarity and branding for your career niche. But landing your dream job requires more than just submitting applications on LinkedIn or Indeed. It demands a proactive approach, one that involves strategic networking to forge meaningful connections and open doors to endless possibilities.
This is where the power of intentional networking comes into play. By taking deliberate and purposeful action, you can actively shape your career trajectory.
Being intentional means going beyond the traditional idea of networking. It's about crafting authentic interactions, fostering genuine connections, and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships. With the right strategies in place, intentional networking can unlock doors to hidden job opportunities, offer valuable insights, and even shape your professional identity.
Whether you're a recent graduate, a seasoned professional looking for a career change, or someone in between, embracing intentional networking will give you a competitive edge.
Referrals: Your Strongest Path
Referrals will always be your strongest path to finding your dream employer in the hidden job market, which is why I always recommend my clients focus most of their efforts on networking.
When someone refers you to a job, they likely have inside knowledge about the company or position. They can provide you with valuable information about the organization's culture, work environment, and hiring process. This insight can help you tailor your application and interview strategy, increasing your chances of success.
Hiring managers tend to trust referrals from employees or trusted contacts because they come with a certain level of credibility. When someone vouches for your skills and qualifications, it can significantly boost your chances of getting noticed and considered for the job. Since referrals often lead to direct connections with hiring managers, you have a higher chance of standing out and being selected for an interview.
Even if a referral doesn’t materialize into a job opportunity, building relationships can lead to other future job openings or valuable connections within your industry.
Colleagues and Connections
Networking is about relationships, introductions and a “how may I help you” approach. And with the right strategy, anyone can become a networking pro:
🔹 First, make a database of your past colleagues and social connections that include friends, family, and neighbours.
🔹 Source out where they are employed through conversations or using LinkedIn profiles and company pages.
🔹 Reach out to connect and update them with your top ten targeted companies and the role you are looking to secure.
🔹 Optimize your LinkedIn profile and focus on social proof as a powerful tool to get noticed. Consider asking past colleagues for a recommendation on LinkedIn. The best way to do this is to offer a recommendation in return.
Nurture your professional network, maintain strong relationships, and communicate your career goals and interests among your contacts will help you tap into the hidden job market and unlock new career opportunities.
Hint: Intentional Careers HR’s eBook The Hidden Job Market can help!
Asking for Introductions
While asking for introductions, remember that most people will want to help you connect with their network to help you build forward momentum. Here are some steps to follow when reaching out to your network for job referrals:
🔹 Identify your target companies or industries you are interested in and the types of roles you are seeking. This clarity will help your network understand how they can assist you.
🔹 When reaching out to your contacts, write a personalized message. Start by expressing your genuine interest in their work or industry and briefly explain your career goals, and ask if they would be willing to introduce you to anyone in their network who may have insights or opportunities related to your job search.
🔹 Share any relevant details about your background, skills, and experiences that could be helpful for your contact to understand how they can best assist you. This can include your resume, LinkedIn profile, or a brief summary of your qualifications.
🔹 If your contact agrees to make an introduction or offers assistance, promptly follow up with a thank-you message expressing your appreciation for their support. Keep them updated on your progress and outcomes – remember, they want to see you succeed!
🔹 Leverage online platforms like LinkedIn to make your job search intentions known. Update your profile to reflect your career goals and share relevant posts or articles to engage with your network. This can increase your visibility and attract potential introductions or job leads.
An Ongoing Journey
It's important to build and maintain strong relationships with your network over time, not just when you need something. Investing in relationships and offering support to others in your network will increase the likelihood of receiving help when you need it.
And remember, when you’re struggling to stay positive about your job search, know that your next employer is out there looking for you too. All you need is that one connection to find each other!
Are you feeling overwhelmed and unsure what your next steps could be?
Are you wondering if investing in professional services would be worthwhile?
Are you confused about how a career coach might help you?
For more than 20 years I have focused my work on helping people move forward into new careers, new jobs, new roles, and new businesses.
Be intentional with your career journey and book a complimentary discovery call today.