You can always apply for a job online, but most jobs opportunities are found through people you know, your network. However, there is a delicate balance. You can't wait until you need the network to build it and you can't wait until you need a job to tell people that you are looking. This is why creating and developing a strong network is very important. Follow these steps and you are well on your way to securing your next opportunity.
1. Create A Network -The first step in this process is to actually have a network. What does that mean? It's not just friends and family but professional contacts that you've met through industry related, events, panels and conferences.
2. Build Your Network- Now that you have know new people, make sure that you are developing this network. Contacting people now and again, checking in, and meeting for coffee or lunch.
3. Add Value to Your Network - This can be assisting people within your network by sending out their resumes to your contacts, editing their resume or letting them know about upcoming opportunities. This is very important because you can't just show up when you need something. People don't like helping people that feel like they are using them. If you add value to your network in advance, people will be more willing to help you when you need something.
4. Inform Your Network - This can be direct or indirect. Indirect: Let people know that you are considering a new opportunities. Direct: Let people know you hate your job and you're looking or you can let them know that you're open to opportunities.
5. Utilize the Network - After building a relationship with people over time you can ask someone you know at a place who is looking and asking them to submit your resume. When people submit resumes on behalf of someone else, these resumes get a closer look. However, people do not want to put themselves out there for those that they don't know well because they are also putting their reputation on the line.
If you follow these steps you are well on your way to networking yourself into your next job.