Does It Matter Who You Network With?
Some suggest that it’s a waste of time to network with other people who are also on the hunt for a new job. But that’s not true! When you’re job searching, it can be helpful to network with other people who are also looking for new employment. There are several benefits to doing so:
- You can share resources and information. When you network with other job seekers, you can share information about job openings, networking events, and other resources that might be helpful in the job search. If you find a role that doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, but you know someone who would do great at it, you can point them in the right direction! And by establishing a variety of connections, they may be able to do the same for you. This can save everyone time and effort in their career search.
- You can offer and receive support. Job searching can be a long, exhausting, and sometimes discouraging process. It can be helpful to have a support system during a job search because each of you understands the ups and downs of the process. Networking with other job seekers can provide that sense of community. Everyone knows something that you don’t, so opening yourself up to the opportunity to network with other people who are looking for a job can teach you something, maybe even something that could help you land the job. Additionally, you can offer encouragement and advice to others, and they can do the same for you. This can be especially helpful if you’re feeling down or frustrated during your search.
- You can practice your networking skills. Networking is an important part of the job search process, and in some fields, the job itself, so it’s helpful to practice as much as you can. When you network with other job seekers, you can hone your networking skills and get better at talking to new people. This will come in handy when you’re meeting with potential employers. If you get more comfortable interacting with people you don’t know, you’ll be able to walk into an interview with more confidence and keep the conversation rolling with ease.
While networking is always a good idea during your job search, there are a few things to keep in mind when doing so: Make sure you’re networking with people in your field. You’ll want to network with people who are in the same field as you, as they’ll be the most likely to have helpful, relevant information and advice. Be respectful of everyone’s time. When you’re meeting with someone for networking purposes, be respectful of their time. Don’t monopolize the conversation or try to sell them on your skills. Instead, focus on getting to know them and seeing if there’s a way you can help each other. Follow up after your meeting. After you meet someone for networking purposes, be sure to follow up with them. Send them an email or LinkedIn message thanking them for their time, and let them know you’re available if they need any help in their job search.