Have you heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? When trying to find a job, there is a lot of truth behind those words. Although it is very important to learn and master the skills and techniques of the job, it’s equally important to have solid connections in the industry.
One of the essential keys to finding a job is the networking process, which is how you create and maintain a strong circle of contacts. There are many people in your address book that have the potential to help you find your next big job. You never know where a job referral will come from—friends, clients, and former employers are just a few examples.
What can you do to expand your opportunities? First of all, make sure that you don’t burn any bridges. Ending relationships with people because you don’t think they are worth keeping in contact with could hamper you in your job search. They could have been the one to help you get your foot in the door, however, because of your negative relationship, they may be the person telling your potential boss not to hire you.
Another thing you can do is make sure that you are constantly networking. You can find potential employers and other connections at school, at social gatherings, at work, or even at family events. It’s important to take the time to make a positive impression and form a connection in some way with the people that you meet. To keep yourself accountable you could have a goal to make contact with 5, 10, or even 20 different people a month. Networking can and does make the difference between landing your dream job and missing out.