During a job seeker’s journey, it isn’t uncommon for one to feel hopeless at a certain point. However, sometimes the answer is right in front of your face and you just haven’t taken the time to connect with the network you have, in regards to filling vacancies. Your current network is at your fingertips, you just have to learn how you can utilize it in your best interest. Here are some tips we’ve found to be applicable and resourceful.

Assess Your Existing Network. You actually know more people than you think. And these people are almost always willing to help you but are more than likely unaware of your current unemployment status. It’s your job to make awareness! Start off by creating a list of those individuals who care for you and work in a professional setting. Include family members, former classmates, church/club associates, neighbors, former co-workers, and even general associates of yours. Each connection of these categories has a similar list of its own, identical to the list you’ve created. This is your “network.”

Reach Out To Your Network. The second step is to reach out to this newly created list/network. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help or get simple directions. The worst answer you’ll receive is “no” or “I can’t”, but you can never know until you ASK. Contact these people and let them know that you’re looking for a job. Specify the exact industry or role that you’re looking for and ask them if they have any information or know anyone in a relevant field. You’ll be surprised who they know, and this creates an opening and a path in the right direction.

Improve Your Communication Skills. Active listening and nonverbal communication are essential skills when developing or improving your communication skills. Communication is the “cornerstone of job networking,” and applies to every working industry all over the world. It’s a skill that everyone who has a career is non-exempt from. To listen effectively one must focus fully on the speaker, avoid interrupting and show interest.
From an attitude perspective, two tips to implement while tweaking your communication skills are “managing stress” and adapting “emotional awareness”. Both can come between identifying, relating, and establishing a connection. To quickly deal with stress while communicating one must recognize when he or she has become stressed, take a moment to cool off, reach for your sensible self and find humor in the situation, if possible. Like stress, emotional awareness provides you the skill set for understanding not only yourself but other people and the whole point they’re attempting to convey to you.
In part two of this article, we’ll provide the prospective employee with tips on building relationships, evaluating the quality of your network, strong and weak ties, and ways to maintain your network. These tips have been collected by workforce placement recruiters. Visit our Job Search page for all currently available positions and reach out if you need additional help landing a job.