Many experts will tell you that most of the job positions that are currently available will not be found on Monster, CareerBuilder, or in your local newspaper’s want ads. As high as 80% of positions that need to be filled are not known by the general public but are broadcast via networking and inner circles. So the key to successful job searching is not always about what you know but who you know.
Networking is a priceless tool that can help you in your time of need. Some people look on this art as a time waster, but it has many benefits. Mixing and mingling and meeting people in an array of genres helps not only build up your Rolodex—it also assists in connecting with people you need to know. People who may be able to help you when you need it.
It is during these networking sessions that you can learn about possible job openings—who is hiring even when there isn’t a an actual job opening advertisement placed. Your networking circle can clue you in on countless job opportunities, making it easier for you to land the gig of your dreams.
In the past as a hiring manager, I often told many of my colleagues and friends about positions available within my company before the position was formally available. Being in my network afforded them the opportunity to get in on the ground floor running before other candidates knew about the job position—and yes, if I knew you personally and you had a stellar work ethic, I would probably select you over someone else who looked good on paper but I didn’t know so well.
So the next time you scoff at the chance to network at an event, you should change your tune. Even if you aren’t in the market NOW for a job, you never know what the future holds. Put on your smile, make sure you have plenty of business cards, and get out there and market yourself.
You cannot put a value on the art of networking.