A successful job search often begins with one-on-one contacts that result in strong job leads. The Department of Labor estimates that up to 75 percent of positions are filled without advertising. If you are solely relying on job postings as your primary job search strategy, you’re only going to see approximately 25 percent of what’s out there.
Part of your Career Action Plan (pdf), market research includes networking or using external resources to identify which functions, industries and regions can best use your unique set of interests, skills and experiences.
Meeting people gives you the opportunity to learn from them and to build your personal brand and network. Skillful networking is the best way to tap into the hidden market in which job openings are often filled through word of mouth or personal referrals. Networking is usually not a formalized process. It is often an informal discussion with people you already know or have just met. In fact, students network all the time and don’t even realize it. Networking takes place whenever you:
- Meet with faculty or staff – especially a career advisor
- Attend employer information sessions or career-related activities
- Meet guest speakers in class or through a student organization
- Talk with other students to learn of their experiences
- Talk with family, friends and other acquaintances about their work
- Post messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, chat rooms or other web blogs
- Volunteer for a community service activity
You will be well served to view these interactions generally as part of the overall interview and selection process, and act accordingly. Remember, you are making impressions as you broaden your network.
Through networking, you can:
- Get your message out and publicize your availability
- Gather marketplace information and industry trends
- Accumulate information on target organizations
- Get advice and ideas
- Locate sponsors, mentors and job leads
- Generate referrals that further build your network
- Develop lifelong contacts that may help you later
Olin’s LinkedIn groups allow you to keep in touch with the Olin community, including alumni, and can expand your professional network. Create a profile, join the Olin LinkedIn network and start making connections. To meet with a career coach, schedule an appointment online, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 314-935-5950, or stop by the WCC in Knight Hall 210.