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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.