The online job search struggle
The old saying is true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!
If you are anything like me, you know that online job hunting in a new industry is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
You can’t land an interview for an entry-level position with less than five years of experience, and everyone and their grandmothers are applying for the same jobs through the same online search engines as you are.
When I first graduated from university, I was one of the only students in my Environmental Studies class that had actually managed to score a full-time, salary earning, dental-covered, and professional position within the environmental sector. Prior to that, I had applied online for at least 50 jobs in the industry without as much as an email recognizing that my resume had even been received.
So, what am I getting at?
Well, if you can’t find a job, it’s because you’re looking in the wrong places!
Good jobs aren’t advertised on job search engines
Having worked in the industry now for a few years, I have witnessed the hiring of over a dozen new staff members — none of which have been hired through an internet job posting.
Yes, we are all aware of formal job markets. A company has an opening, posts an ad on an online search engine and boom, they receive 300 applications – not only from people all over the country, but all over the world. Yep, you are competing in a global job market.
The informal job market is a little less obvious, as 80% of jobs aren’t even advertised. Through networking, you get VIP access to the informal job market that isn’t broadcasted to the entire world through job search engines. Through networking, you get your name out there and have access to these jobs before anyone else.
You’re not networking
The word networking used to send chills down my spine. I would think, “Yuck, salesman, awkward, fake, and exhausting.” A lot of my colleagues feel the same way and throw it on the back burner, chuckling, “That’s what the sales team is for!”
You need to start thinking of networking a little differently. All networking really requires is for you to socialize. You’ve been socializing your entire life – making friends and having fun. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, so don’t complicate things.
How networking really works
Someone you work with has disclosed to you that they are accepting another position with a different company (probably through a referral from their network, but I digress). You know there will be an open position in your department soon and you think, “My friend John would be great for this job!” You recommend John to your hiring manager and before you know it, John has a job because he is a stand-up guy!
There will most likely be a referral bonus in it for you too! A what? A referral bonus! Yes, management rewards you for saving them the process of posting a job on the internet. Here’s two-thousand dollars for saving us the hassle of hiring someone on our own.
Networking is about your ability to build relationships and it is ultimately what will distinguish you from your competition. The most efficient way to get ahead is to network.
Not only will networking give you access to the informal job market, it also provides you with other useful advantages.
First of all, professional advice isn’t cheap; and what’s better than access to free information? Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t. Often you will have an opportunity to network with someone older and well established in an industry. Professionals will have much more experience and knowledge of your industry than you do. CAPITALIZE ON THIS OPPORTUNITY.
Be vulnerable, show that you want to learn and that you are interested in hearing about what they have to say. You won’t be remembered for what you said, but for how you made someone feel. If you show genuine interest in the professionals career and show thanks, they will remember you as an eager young professional and respect you.
Lastly, every person you meet has the ability to introduce you to someone else in their network. Everyone is connected by just 6 degrees of separation. So, even if that someone can’t give you the job you want, they can probably introduce you to someone else who can.
Stop wasting your time
Yes, online job search engines are a great starting point to finding the requirements needed to get a job. But, they certainly are not the most efficient or effective way to actually get a job.
So stop wasting your time behind your computer. Get out there and start socializing, and have fun like your future job depends on it.
By: Ask Tech Girl
Student, Full-time Public Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications Diploma Program, September 2016 Intake
For more information about this program, visit: http://pace.uwinnipegcourses.ca/public-relations-marketing-strategic-communication-diploma