Career Development

ICS Learn logo

Top Networking Strategies To Get A New Job

If you’re networking with the goal of landing a new job, it’s no secret that these days it’s not just about what you have, it’s also about who you know.

Today’s working landscape changes rapidly and research reflects this by confirming that the average person changes jobs at least 12 times throughout their lifetime (whoa!), meaning the ability to network is an extremely valuable skill to have as you search for your next role.

What is Networking and Why Is It important?

Networking is described as a “mutually beneficial interaction that involved exchanging ideas and information” between individuals, specifically those who are connected by a common career, profession or interest.

Networking can sometimes have daunting connotations, especially if you are shy or introverted. However, with a few strategies in your pocket and boost of confidence, it can be both a rewarding and beneficial experience.

Networking also hosts several benefits, including:

  • Stronger business connections
  • Raised professional profile
  • Increased confidence in skills
  • Access to up-to-date trends, information and different perspectives
  • Develops credibility
  • Creates business opportunities

Now you know just how advantageous networking can be, it will come as no surprise that 80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success, so let’s discuss some popular strategies that you can draw inspiration from.

1) Utilise LinkedIn and other social media platforms

It’s no surprise that as of right now, LinkedIn is the leading professional networking tool, having been used by professional across the globe since its launch in 2003. LinkedIn is full to the brim with professionals from all industries, an abundance of content, insights and has its own job board section.

A few ways to make the most out of LinkedIn are:

Optimising your profile

To be seen on LinkedIn, try and be as active as you can. This will ensure that you are working with and not against LinkedIn’s algorithm. Liking, sharing and commenting on other posts will increase the likelihood of your profile appearing on different feeds, which in turn, increases the chances of you being noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.

These tips may seem obvious, but there’s a reason as to why they work!

Connecting with industry professionals

Now as you’re most likely using networking to land a new job, LinkedIn is a great tool to use to connect with those already working in your chosen industry or for the companies that you have a particular interest in.

We recommend making a list of five or six companies that you would like to work for and then by using the search tool, connect with either the hiring managers or Talent Acquisition team of said companies.

As they are the ones that are essentially looking for new talent this simple act will expose you to their posts and job listings, as well as giving them access to your profile, which includes your skills, interest and educational background.

Phone Social Media

Updating your profile preferences

Through LinkedIn, you’re able to somewhat announce that you are seeking new opportunities, as well as making your profile as private or public as you’d like. So, make use of these settings and edit your preferences, this will help ensure your profile can be correctly searched for.

In terms of updating your profile, we recommend adding some life and personality, within reason. Yes, this is a business tool, but recruiters and hiring managers want to know what makes the person they are hiring them, so customise your tagline, your bio and include any additional certificates or awards.

A pro tip is to include your chosen industry in your tagline, within your bio and throughout your profile. This will help with search preferences and will also make it obvious as to which industry you want to work in. Your tagline should showcase you so include:

  • Your chosen profession
  • The value that you can bring / your areas of expertise or focus
  • Job titles
  • Key phrases

Examples include:

Director of learning | Learning Profile Manager | 10 years of experience solving business issues with learning solutions | Creative Thinker | Mentor | Change Maker

2023 Finance Graduate | Passionate about Financial Analysis, Reporting and Auditing | Crazy about Numbers

Content Marketing Strategist | 5+ Years of Developing, Publishing and Analysing Engaging Content | Creative Copywriter | An Adobe Pro

2) Utilise your current professional network

We’ve already touched upon your online professional network, but what about those who you know personally? If you have worked in your industry for a good few years, it is likely that you have built some connections and made friends along the way.

So, make a list of four or five people and reach out to them. You can ask them if they know of anyone who is hiring in your industry, or if the company they are working for is hiring. As you’ll likely be on a first name bases, it’s okay to ask your friends, old colleagues and family for their help.

A recent LinkedIn survey also confirmed that 70% of participants were hired by a company in which they had connections with and on top of this, businesses are investing heavily in their referral processes, with 45% of referrals staying at companies for longer than four years.

With benefits to you and the employer, it’s worth asking and getting your name out there.

3) Attend industry events, conferences and talks

There’s nothing like getting away from your desk and attending an industry event, talk or conference. Not only are these great fun, they are also motivational, insightful and great for networking!

Depending on what industry you work in, why not do a search and find out what is happening in your surrounding area, take a friend along for support and learn something new. Some popular ones include:

For HR professionals

HR Vision London

CIPD Festival of Work

For L&D professionals

World of Learning Summit

Learning Technologies

For Accountancy professionals

The Accountancy Management Summit

Accountex Summit Manchester

For Management and Leadership professionals

The Management and Leadership SuMMit

Annual Leadership and Workforce Summit

If these Conferences and Summits are a bit far out of your reach, whether that be logistically or financially, that’s okay. It’s helpful to know about them from a knowledge point of view but if attending them isn’t possible, you should be able to find smaller, more accessible ones closer to you.

A top tip is also following the LinkedIn page of these events, it’ll keep you up to date with new industry information and any potential job opportunities.

4) Focus on building relationships and adding value

Straight off the bat, if you call up someone and ask for a job, they are likely to feel ambushed, refuse the offer and fail to contact you again. Even though getting a new job may be your ultimate goal when it comes to networking, research confirms that ‘a truly viable network is also founded on meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships’. This means creating space for a two-way dialogue is just as important.

We recommend:

Being authentic

When job searching, the most important thing to be is yourself. If you pursue genuine interests and work towards goals that align with who you are, you will generally be a lot happier and motivated throughout the job searching journey.

Being considerate and patient

Reaching out to your network, applying for jobs or attending industry relevant events, like anything, involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Remembering that you aren’t technically ‘owed’ anything and that recruiters and hiring managers are people just like you, with a workload and deadlines, will help with any feelings of desertedness or frustration while waiting for replies or building a rapport.

Offering your time and skills

If it’s something that you can offer, make your networks aware that you’re open to volunteering opportunities, work experience, internships or apprenticeships is helpful when looking to gain a new role. It may be that something like this is available currently and there’s an opportunity for full-time work in the future.

Providing relevant background information

Including your relevant qualifications and work experience will help give the recipient a bit more of an idea of who you are and how you have gotten to where you are now. However, remember to be as concise as possible and miss out anything that isn’t relevant to your message.

 

We hope these four networking strategies help you on your journey to landing a new job and wish you good luck in your search.

 

 

Gain a new qualification and reach out to one of our expert course advisers at ICS Learn today.