The best way to make yourself stand out in the job application process is utilizing effective networking. While great grades, relevant work experience, and thorough research are important steps that can lead to landing your dream job, networking is essential to take your strategy to the next level.
You can blow employers away by referencing these helpful networking guidelines:
1. Social Media Leverage
LinkedIn is a great traditional example of social media networking. You can connect with people who you have or have not met by simply sending over a personalized message. You can also utilize Twitter to reach out to people in your field. Due to the prominence of creatives on social media sites like Twitter, you can more easily and effectively make connections. Not only does Twitter ease the means of initiating contact, but you can stand out amongst your fellow applicants by following industry favorites and sharing relevant work.
2. Reach out to Acquaintances
Maintaining or re-igniting relationships can be much easier if you’ve already met. Whether it was an internship or college course, people you’ve come in contact with over your life can be of great value in the job search. If you don’t have luck with that group of contacts, you can try getting involved in freelance work. This will not only help you stay on top of your game, but will add more people to your contact list. Yet another option is your college alumni network. These people have already experienced the job search and can be a great source of advice.
3. Join Relevant Groups
Joining groups whose members share the same end goal can be a great source of information and encouragement. The people in these groups may have already had some great experiences and advice to share, which could benefit you in your current situation. There are also sites built specifically to encourage group conversations. If you are not successful on these fronts, you could then reach out to people you already know and ask them which groups they have joined and found useful.
4. Make Bold Efforts
Even though attempting to connect with someone you have never met can be intimidating, consider the amount of value they can provide. The person you emailed or called could be very impressed by your efforts and can serve as a great connection in your employment search. Being complementary and curious can help you come off as sincere and will increase the likelihood of receiving a response. You can also be bold in real-life conversations, and always have your business card on hand. This will demonstrate your dedication to your networking contacts.
Being well-rounded comes down to much more than what’s written on a piece of paper. With practice and determination, your networking outreach and conversations can provide valuable advice and recommendations that will make you the best candidate for the job. Instead of blending in, you can stand out in a pool of applicants by becoming an effective networker.
About the Author
Pierre Drescher is co-founder of The Creative Loft, which he designed and launched as an online employment solution targeting niche creative industries.