”Without a network, you won't find your next job”
It is may seem a little over the top, but there’s something to it. Research shows that employers use their network actively when looking for an employee. In smaller Danish companies, 70% use their network when recruiting. In the bigger companies and the public sector, it is a little bit lower, but it is an important tool (Ballisager’s Rekrutteringsanalyse 2019).
Many openings are filled through networks, without ever being posted anywhere. Even posted job ads are filled through network. Networking does mean something.
This is what you can use your network for
The purpose to contact and to get a meeting with a potential employer could be:
- To get information about a certain area of business or a company you would like a job at
- To get advice on your job application
- To get help and feedback on your qualifications and the direction you would like to go
- Get information about a specific job you would like to apply for, e.g. if you are applying unsolicited
The goal by using your network is not to get a job. It is an entryway to get more knowledge and feedback that you can use in your search.
Networking is about building relations – not using others
Some believe that ”networking” is too strategic and believe it is about using others for their own benefit. There are many ways to work with your network and you can do it more or less strategically. But networking is about building relations with other people – something you do all the time. It is also about helping others, which most of us gladly do.
The goal of networking is neither to sell yourself to others, nor to act in a certain way. It’s about gaining knowledge, showing interest and staying in contact with others, so you can help them too – and they can help you.
Networking is a natural part of our work life. We might as well practice it.