Find your dream job, part six: networking

8 May 2013 @ 10.36 am
| News

A networking event in York. Photograph: Paul Crossman for
A networking event in York. Photograph: Paul Crossman for
Employers want to know you before they hire you, even online, explains York job finder general Simon Wallace

Part 6 – Connections

If you have been following the series, hopefully by now you will: know what you are good at, know what your career anchors are, have an understanding of what is going on in the world around you and you will be talking to people. The key to finding your ideal career is knowing what others need and knowing what you can offer. Hopefully, this series should have helped you answer these two questions.

So far, we have been focusing on one side of the equation: you. Now let us look at the other side: the employer, and what they need. They know about potential jobs a long time before a job advert is posted. Which gives you plenty of time to get ahead of the crowd.

They know what they need in terms of skill sets. Their biggest problem is finding the right person. Not only in terms of can they do the job but will the person fit in to the organisation? This latter criteria is very important; they don’t want to employ someone who doesn’t like the company or the people they work with.

Ideally, employers want to hire someone they already know. This is because they have a better understanding of whether that person will fit in, whether they will be liked by others. This is why internal candidates are more successful than external ones. This is why “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. Success in job hunting does not come from applying for the most jobs but talking to the most people.

The more people know about you and what you can offer, the more likely it is that you will be a favourable candidate when a job comes around. If your social circle needs expanding, you might look at volunteer work, getting involved with local groups, going to networking events. Again, details of these can be found at your local library or from people you already know.

If someone does think you might be a good candidate for a position, they may do some on-line research: what does your LinkedIn profile look like? What do you get up to on Facebook? What do you say on Twitter? I recommend having a look at these and any other social media you use to see what a potential employer might learn about you.

This is also the time to think about your CV. Many people I have spoken to tell me they find it hard to write their CV. What should they include? What shouldn’t they include? How do they make it stand out from all the others?

In the next part I will answer all these and more, on how to create an interview winning CV.