You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s the key to landing the perfect executive job nowadays, in addition to flawless executive resume writing.
With the amount of job boards online, newspapers and employment agencies, it’s nearly impossible to get recognized if you apply for a job through one of those avenues. Networking is the best way to find out about job openings and get your foot in the door. That’s why personal branding for senior level executives is critical for career growth. In fact, many companies won’t even post their job openings anywhere because of the vast amount of applications they receive. Here are some tips about how networking can be an effective way to land your next executive position.
Start With Who You Already Know
Make a list of all the people you know. This should include family, friends, colleagues and anyone you have come in contact with recently. Sit down and actually think about conversations you’ve had with those people. Your cousin may not work in the industry you’re interested in, but you might recall a discussion you had with him about a friend of his who is in the industry. LinkedIn is a great way to make connections through mutual friends. If you aren’t familiar with LinkedIn, it is worth your time to look into a LinkedIn profile service as soon as possible.
Strike Up Conversations
Whether you’re in a long line at the grocery store or waiting to be seated at a restaurant, start a conversation with the person next to you. Ask them what they do for a living. You never know, you may just be talking to your next boss! The point is you’ll never meet anyone who can help you get your dream executive job if you don’t talk to people. You don’t have to be outlandishly outgoing, but just making small talk could lead to something much larger.
Check Out Conferences and Events
LinkedIn and other social media outlets may not be the best way to find a job, but they are perfect for knowing what’s going on in the industry. A LinkedIn profile service can help you identify the ideal conferences and events to attend. Bring your resume or business cards to the event and hand them out to a few people. You definitely don’t want to be remembered as the person who talks to everyone, though. Instead, just meet a few people at each function you attend and see where it goes.
(See more tips for handling business networking events.)
Just because you meet a perfect connection who could get you a job doesn’t mean it will happen overnight. Be careful when casting a wide net in your network, because you don’t want to be known as the person who’s fishing for any job. If you have any questions about how to network or the best ways to grow your network, feel free to get in touch with us for some tips!
By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.