According to a report from ABC News, 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking. This percentage of networkers represents smart jobseekers who understand that looking for and finding work takes...work.
They understand that personal networking coupled with online networking will yield better results than spending the majority of their time on Monster.com, Indeed.com, Dice.com, CareerBuilder.com, and other job boards.
Smart jobseekers attend networking events consisting of jobseekers, business owners, professional associations, meet-ups, etc. However, networking events are not smart jobseekers' only, or even major, source of networking. They also utilize their rich network of former colleagues, friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances, and others; or start the building process…and keep it going once they’ve landed a job.
Many experts will tell you that companies want to hire from within first; only when there are no appropriate internal candidates will they rely on referrals from employees (who get a bonus for a successful hire) and people who will approach them through informational meetings. The latter category of jobseekers (you) have the benefit of getting known before the job is "officially posted."
"...employees who come to the company 'known by us' in some way are seen to be better hires and thought to get up to speed more quickly and stay with the company longer," Martin Yate, Knock em Deadseries, writes. And this includes you. This is where relentless networking comes in, whether you contact someone at a company so they can get your résumé to a hiring manager, or you contact a hiring manager in your desired department to set up a meeting.
Pam Lassiter, The New Job Security, understands that networking can be daunting, particularly for Introvert types, but encourages jobseekers to do it, "Using your networking wisely is a muscle you can exercise and develop if you haven't already. Outplacement and alumni career services surveys report that 65 to 85 percent of jobseekers find their jobs through networking...."
Some jobseekers misunderstand the purpose of networking. They think it's all about them. They constantly ask without giving, which is the quickest way to drive away potential allies. People who have the true networking mindset realize that they should first help others, before thinking of themselves.
The bottom line is that helping other jobseekers will help you. Paying it forward increases your odds of landing a job. And, there are plenty of great networkers who will help you, as they realize they'll eventually get help from others. They are patient and determined.
Here's what one of my customers, who recently got a job, told me about proper networking: "Have a conversation with people [as opposed to] giving them a 30 second commercial. It's not about 'I need a job.' Have a really good conversations with a few people at an event and listen to what their needs are. Think of how you can really connect with them and support them vs. just getting a business card."
Networking only makes sense, so I’m perplexed as to why some jobseekers don’t embrace it. I know that personal networking means going outside one's comfort zone, particularly if you’re an Introvert (as an Introvert, I know the feeling). Developing the attitude that “I just have to do it” will help you over the hump.
First things first: Confidence is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretense of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others.
Confidence is quiet: It’s a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.
I’m fortunate to know a number of truly confident people. Many work with me atHubSpot, others are fellow founders of their own startups some of whom I've met through my angel investment activity. But the majority are people I’ve met through my career and who work in a variety of industries and professions.
It comes as no surprise they all share a number of qualities:
1. They take a stand not because they think they are always right… but because they are not afraid to be wrong.
Cocky and conceited people tend to take a position and then proclaim, bluster, and totally disregard differing opinions or points of view. They know they’re right – and they want (actually they need) you to know it too.
Their behavior isn’t a sign of confidence, though; it’s the hallmark of an intellectual bully.
Truly confident people don’t mind being proven wrong. They feel finding out what is right is a lot more important than being right. And when they’re wrong, they’re secure enough to back down graciously.
Truly confident people often admit they’re wrong or don’t have all the answers; intellectual bullies never do.
2. They listen ten times more than they speak.
Bragging is a mask for insecurity. Truly confident people are quiet and unassuming. They already know what they think; they want to know what you think.
So they ask open-ended questions that give other people the freedom to be thoughtful and introspective: They ask what you do, how you do it, what you like about it, what you learned from it… and what they should do if they find themselves in a similar situation.
Truly confident people realize they know a lot, but they wish they knew more… and they know the only way to learn more is to listen more.
3. They duck the spotlight so it shines on others.
Perhaps it’s true they did the bulk of the work. Perhaps they really did overcome the major obstacles. Perhaps it’s true they turned a collection of disparate individuals into an incredibly high performance team.
Truly confident people don’t care – at least they don’t show it. (Inside they’re proud, as well they should be.) Truly confident people don’t need the glory; they know what they’ve achieved.
They don’t need the validation of others, because true validation comes from within.
So they stand back and celebrate their accomplishments through others. They stand back and let others shine – a confidence boost that helps those people become truly confident, too.
4. They freely ask for help.
Many people feel asking for help is a sign of weakness; implicit in the request is a lack of knowledge, skill, or experience.
Confident people are secure enough to admit a weakness. So they often ask others for help, not only because they are secure enough to admit they need help but also because they know that when they seek help they pay the person they ask a huge compliment.
Saying, “Can you help me?” shows tremendous respect for that individual’s expertise and judgment. Otherwise you wouldn't ask.
5. They think, “Why not me?”
Many people feel they have to wait: To be promoted, to be hired, to be selected, to be chosen... like the old Hollywood cliché, to somehow be discovered.
Truly confident people know that access is almost universal. They can connect with almost anyone through social media. (Everyone you know knows someone you should know.) They know they can attract their own funding, create their own products, build their own relationships and networks, choose their own path – they can choose to follow whatever course they wish.
And very quietly, without calling attention to themselves, they go out and do it.
6. They don't put down other people.
Generally speaking, the people who like to gossip, who like to speak badly of others, do so because they hope by comparison to make themselves look better.
The only comparison a truly confident person makes is to the person she was yesterday – and to the person she hopes to someday become.
7. They aren’t afraid to look silly…
Running around in your underwear is certainly taking it to extremes… but when you’re truly confident, you don’t mind occasionally being in a situation where you aren't at your best.
(And oddly enough, people tend to respect you more when you do – not less.)
8. … And they own their mistakes.
Insecurity tends to breed artificiality; confidence breeds sincerity and honesty.
That’s why truly confident people admit their mistakes. They dine out on their screw-ups. They don’t mind serving as a cautionary tale. They don’t mind being a source of laughter – for others and for themselves.
When you’re truly confident, you don’t mind occasionally “looking bad.” You realize that that when you’re genuine and unpretentious, people don’t laugh at you.
They laugh with you.
9. They only seek approval from the people who really matter.
You say you have 10k Twitter followers? Swell. 20k Facebook friends? Cool. A professional and social network of hundreds or even thousands? That’s great.
But that also pales in comparison to earning the trust and respect of the few people in your life that truly matter.
When we earn their trust and respect, no matter where we go or what we try, we do it with true confidence – because we know the people who truly matter the most are truly behind us.
8 Ways to Get Yourself Eliminated from Candidate Consideration QUICKLY
~ Will Thomson, via Recruiting Blogs
I just don't get it?!! Why didn't I get called back? I thought I interviewed great! What do you mean "We decided to go another direction"?
Have you ever heard these words or thought these thoughts? If you haven't, you are one of the few. Interviewing for a job is tough. It is frustrating. It can be a long process. You develop a rapport with your recruiter. When you get the call, or even worse the "no call", it is hard not to get down.
So the question is "How can YOU avoid these things?". Truth is, sometimes you can't. Sometimes there is already a candidate in mind before you even submit your resume. That being said, there are some things you can do to HELP YOURSELF from being eliminated and at least getting to the second round of interviews.
Getting an interview, is half the battle. The other half, is getting to the second round of interviews and progress through the process. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Here are 8 things that WILL get you eliminated from consideration.
1) Not Doing Research on the Company and the RoleWe have all done it. Let me say as a recruiter, though, it is extremely frustrating when you haven't done your homework. Look up the company on the internet. Get a good understand what they do. Know the key executives. Know the financials. Be able to articulate how you could help.
2) Not Acting Enthused About TheRoleHave your morning cup of coffee and your notepad. Take notes & listen. Genuinely be interested in what role the person is talking to you about. Remember they are taking time out of their day to talk to YOU. Give them a level of respect!
3) Coming Across Abrasive or Overconfident Recruiters truly don't care how great awesome you are. We are looking for culture fit. We are looking at a lot of intangibles. If you come across abrasive and the know it all, it is a huge turnoff! It is okay to show what you know, but don't do it in a way that comes across as someone that would have difficulty working with others. Be humble.
4) Not Being Able to Do the Skills on Your ResumeThere are now Sourcers in recruiting for this exact reason. Don't say you can program and code Java on your resume if you can't! Don't say you have been in outside sales for 15 years when you have gone on 3 meetings with an outside sales person and you are an TRULY an inside sales person.
5) Over Pricing YourselfDon't say you want 20k more than you know they can pay. If you are out of their budget, or more than they WANT to pay, you won't get called back.
6) Being InflexibleSaying things like "I will only telecommute" or I don't want to do that part of the job EVER shows that you won't be a very good employee.
7) Not Able To Explain Employment GapsLet's face it. There are layoffs, there is downsizing, and sometimes you just aren't a great fit. Maintain relationships with a former employee and stay on good terms. If you can't explain why you left then you are in trouble.
8) Bad Mouthing Your Former EmployerThe employer is looking to employ YOU. If you bad mouth a former employer, what says you won't do that to them? Be careful what you say! You could say things like "I learned a lot from the company and it has helped me in XYZ areas. Never say "the company was awful and my boss was a jerk". That will get you nowhere in life!
Hopefully this helps and you will get that second interview next time.