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Optimize Your Network for Your Job Search

How to optimize your job search network while complying with social distancing or Stay-at-Home orders

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Networking while Social Distancing
image courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“I’m between successes and I’m actively searching for my next job but I’m finding it difficult to network while we are restricted by Stay-at-Home and Social Distancing orders. What do you suggest?”

Networking While Quarantined

The most fundamental aspect of any search for employment is to optimize your network and believe it or not, the networking aspect doesn’t change all that much due to quarantine scenarios.

It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who You Know.

In some ways that old adage is correct. In this case, the questions who do you know? and who do you need to know? can play a big role in your job search.

The power of your network is remarkable and even if it’s currently limited, you have the ability to strategically and rapidly expand your circle. But how do you do that while social distancing or complying with Stay-at-Home orders? Here are a few ideas:

Social Media

Personal Social Media

Use your personal social media groups to optimize your network (ie., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Try posting a request to keep you in mind for job options and/or introductions. There’s no shame in needing a job so ask your social media network to help. Your contacts may have connections that you are unaware of and those connections could lead to your next job.

Linkedin

  • Craft a strong profile that reflects the job you are targeting
  • Update your Job Seeking Preferences to show you are open to new opportunities.
  • Publish your email address in the “About” section to make it easy for recruiters to contact you
  • Connect with Recruiters
  • Invite Company Leaders and Peers to Join Your Network

Connect with a wide variety of recruiting resources such as staffing agencies, retained and contingent search firms, and corporate recruiters.  Also, send invitations to the leaders you would potentially report to and peer positions at companies you are interested in working for. Include a brief note to let them know you are actively searching for new opportunities.

Colleagues/Professional Contacts

Optimize your network by contacting colleagues that you have worked with in the past such as former managers, peers, and subordinates, but don’t stop there. Keep the momentum going by reaching out to clients/customers, vendors you’ve worked with, competitors, fellow association members… Send an email or better yet, place a quick phone call.

Zoom in on Networking Events

During this time of social distancing, optimize your network by attending Zoom events. Try industry associations, charities you are affiliated with, or personal groups, clubs, etc. Then make note of others in attendance so you can connect with them on Linkedin with a mention of the Zoom session. Ask to be kept in mind for any job leads and you can also offer to reciprocate the favor if it’s ever needed in the future.

Family, Friends and Other Personal Acquaintances

This is one of the easiest and most valuable networking assets you have and it’s also the most underutilized. Job seekers frequently overlook family, friends, and personal acquaintances as job lead resources because they get caught in the mindset of strictly focusing on business contacts. But the reality is, you never know who might be connected to someone that can introduce you to your next job opportunity.

Personal relationships are the most common source of leads so, make sure to include them in your networking efforts. Check-in on your people and mention your job search status. They’ll be happy to hear from you!

Optimize Your Network and Connect with Your Next Job

This stage of social distancing and Stay-at-Home orders creates favorable conditions for networking. With so many of us working from home, people are slowing down and paying attention to things they would not have had time for previously. So, take advantage of the new pace to optimize your network and connect with your next job opportunity!

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