October 25, 2016

Here’s a question worthy of the Cheshire Cat: If 80 percent of job openings are never advertised, how are 80 percent of job seekers finding jobs?

In a word, networking. Some research shows over 40 percent of people have landed a job this way. If the mere thought of introducing yourself to a room full of people you don’t know, one by one, gives you the shivers, here are five ways to turn that frown upside-down.

  1. Reconnect with old colleagues. LinkedIn’s “people you may know” feature is eerily accurate and a simple way to reconnect with former coworkers. Expand your social network and reacquaint yourself with people who are familiar with your skills and experience.
  2. Sign up for an event. You can do a lot of legwork online, but eventually, you’re going to have to meet some fresh new faces in person. Find an event in your area for working professionals. A bonus tip: Regis often hosts these around Denver, just ask one of our admissions counselors how to RSVP.
  3. Prepare three icebreaker questions. Don’t settle for the obvious “what do you do?” Start with open-ended topics that’ll resonate with people on a personal level, like “got any travel plans?” or “been to a great restaurant lately?” Build a rapport rather than just asking for a business card.
  4. Manage expectations. Don’t expect to leave cocktail hour with a job offer and a company car. Set a goal to meet one or two new people, or ask someone you know to introduce you to someone they know. Connections are about quality, not quantity.
  5. Master the art of give and take. If you ask someone to make a connection for you, offer to reciprocate. By sharing your contacts and experiences, people will be more apt to share with you.

Another great way to make new connections – going back to school. Your classmates likely work in your field and will have experiences and resources to share. If you’re ready to explore the other benefits of getting a degree, contact an admissions counselor.