At some point during your job search, you may have heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Don’t take anyone’s word for it; You should be listening to the experts. This is why we have launched a brand new blog series: Digital Source’d. Every edition will be a compilation of the knowledge collected by our team who are happy to share their findings with you, to help you get closer to the tech role that is right for you.
As we inch closer to a new year filled with new opportunities, our first blog post in this series will take a look at our 7 most valuable networking tips to help you stand out among the crowd. We consulted our in-house tech consultant Frederic who knows the ins and outs of networking.
Read ahead to find out the 7 ways in which you can network the right way:
1. Learn to expand your network
We can’t say it enough, networking is essential. According to recruiters, opportunities are pretty much everywhere, from mutual friends on social media to chance encounters at the gym. Recruiters believe that being genuinely interested in others can make a huge difference, and people notice when others take a sincere interest in them. For candidates, networking can help considerably in your job search. It could help you gain access to new opportunities, advice, support or simply provide you with better market knowledge which can be very beneficial in the long-run. An added bonus, is that your network never seizes to be helpful, even long after you have found your new career opportunity.
2. Find the balance between in-person vs. online networking
Today’s networking landscape has evolved a great deal, incorporating a well-rounded mix of both in-person and online networking. With in-person networking, a great advantage is that it’s often easier to build meaningful relationships when communicating face to face with someone. Nevertheless, face to face meetings can also be very stressful for some candidates. With online networking, candidates are able to feel more secure and confident in themselves. However, it can also be challenging to acknowledge one’s energy and passion. The key is to find a way around both these mediums by playing to your strengths and adapting the networking process accordingly.
3. Stand out while networking online
It might seem obvious, but the first thing to do is to make new connections. Once you have defined whom you find it useful to connect with, just do it! After that, do the research and outreach necessary to keep in touch with connections – both old and new. It takes almost no time, and can have a significant impact in the end. Most importantly, be innovative and do it your own way. Find what works for you and be yourself.
4. Develop an element of trust
By building a referral network through your networking efforts, trust is something that develops organically. Our consultants find this aspect to be extremely important for candidates, as it may help them access more job opportunities effortlessly. Recruiters can trust that the candidate is worth pursuing, and simultaneously, the candidate trusts that they are being referred to a worthwhile opportunity.
5. Look beyond social media
While social media platforms are great tools to make introductions, it’s important not to disregard the power of more traditional methods. Calling or sending emails to hiring managers and HR managers can also prove to be very effective. In addition, events such as conferences and hackathons can be great ways to make an introduction. Other avenues such as online forums and communities are also great ways to network and get to know people in the same industry as yours. Not only can they provide tips and insight towards your job search, but they can also help connect you with other leads.
6. Overcome changes in networking
When we think about networking specifically with regard to tech recruitment, things are constantly changing. It’s important not to waste any time, and always stay up to date with the latest tech tools and evolution of the market. Try and familiarise yourself with new tech tools by attending training/coaching sessions and getting certified. Not only will this help you increase your awareness about constant evolution, but will also provide more credibility. When combined, each of these factors might increase your chances of getting a job.
7. Key takeaways
It’s important to perceive networking positively. Every interaction in both your professional and private life could be a valuable contribution to your future. In the long run, networking will help you build long-term relationships and a solid foundation for your career- two major assets that should be prioritised while working towards your professional goals in tech.
Be clear about your purpose and last but not least, don’t be afraid to take the first step forward!