Discover the Power of Community - How To Network & Job Hunt Like a Recruiter
We’ve all heard that job searching isn’t so much about what you know, but about who you know-- it’s true. Successful Recruiters seem to always know someone, who knows someone, who knows THE ONE. But what they really know is how to connect with people and create a powerful community. They talk about what they do, what their needs are, and how they can best help people in their network and their network’s network. They make connections and strengthen relationships by connecting people with resources who can help them.
So how can you network and job hunt like a recruiter? It’s all about understanding the role your community plays in your job search, and how to connect with your community to get the results you are looking for. Simply put -- you need to talk about it!
So, what is community? Well, to start, it’s powerful.
That’s how communities work at their best — when people help each other. So when you hesitate to ask for an introduction because it feels like a big ask, ask yourself, would I do this for someone? I bet you would, and there you have it - community.
Who - Your professional network, colleagues past and present, clients, industry peers. Your family and friends, your friend’s colleagues who become your friends, the fellow college grads you can’t believe you didn’t hang out with more at school, personal connections, the free agents on your rec volleyball team who happen to work in your same industry, your favorite barista who is finishing a specialized degree you now know all about, and everyone else you meet and talk to.
What -It’s your community! All of these groups and individuals are connections that can lead to more introductions and ideas, to new groups of people, to expanded horizons that can ultimately lead you to your dream job.
When do you connect with your community? The short answer: always. Especially if you are in the middle of a career transition/job hunt. We are social creatures by nature, but during a job search, harnessing the power of your community will go a long way to get the results you are seeking.
Where do you find your community? Everywhere! LinkedIn, networking groups, specific industry groups, over coffee and through informational interviews, through email introductions, by picking up the phone to say hello, at Happy Hour, at the grocery store, during your favorite fitness class, or on the sidelines of your kid’s soccer game.
How to connect & leverage your community — it’s simple, just ask. Be bold and fearless, be respectful, but most importantly, be reciprocal. That’s how communities work at their best— when people help each other. So when you hesitate to ask for an introduction because it feels like a big ask, ask yourself, would I do this for someone? I bet you would, and there you have it - community.
I hope our breakdown has helped you realize that the beauty of community is that you are engaging with, and building yours likely without even realizing it. What successful recruiters know, is that during a job hunt or career transition, it’s time to be more intentional about how you connect with, and leverage your community. Here are ten tangible steps you can take to engage and grow your community. Do one, do all 10, do one you’ve never done before, do one that scares you, do what makes sense for you, but always return the favor when you can.
Attend a networking event - networking events are captive audiences who are looking to connect, take advantage of it!
Join an industry group - there are groups and organizations for everything, spend some time researching a group that makes sense for you-- or better yet, ask your community for suggestions!
Get active in alumni groups - it’s a built-in community that has a shared experience. Stop ignoring the emails about the alumni baseball game someone is organizing and if that isn’t the event for you, find one that is.
Ask for an informational interview - informational interviews aren’t about asking for a job, they are about asking for an informative conversation. Ask that Marketing guru you met at the networking event to grab a quick cup of coffee to pick their brain about how they made the switch from big pharma to tech!
Ask for an introduction/connection - ask your community who they know and who they can connect you with OR ask for a specific intro. ‘Hi Jane, I saw you are connected to the HR Director at X company - can you introduce us? I am very interested in learning more about the company and would love to learn more from someone on the inside.’
Connect through LinkedIn - when it makes sense i.e. a recruiter at a company you are interested in. Heck, go nuts on LinkedIn - Join a group, follow companies that interest you, and pick a hashtag to follow that makes sense for your industry. LinkedIn was built for this!
Talk to someone new - get comfortable introducing yourself and your career transition to anyone and everyone. Work on a mini elevator pitch!
Mention you are in a career transition - to someone who you don’t typically don’t talk about work with. Ask them about their own work experience.
Enlist social media - announce what you are doing/what you need on the social media you typically wouldn’t use to talk shop. Take to your Instagram Stories to share you are looking for a new role and rave about the delicious coffee shop you finally tried.
Take it out of the office- attend a new fitness class, finally use that gift card for the cooking class you got last year, go to an open mic night, learn salsa dancing. Putting yourself in new social situations will naturally expand your community to new networks, and you’ll have fun while doing it!