When I’ve asked successful job seekers what was the reason you got your first job in Canada, the most common answer I get is “networking”.
You may have heard the phrase, “It’s not about what you know. It’s about who you know.” I still disagree with that statement.
I believe the one true purpose of networking is about who knows you.
Many times, when I ask job seekers, “What is your networking strategy?”
The most common answers I get are:
“I’m reaching out to recruiters”
“I’m connecting with people on LinkedIn”
“I’m going to events and meeting people”
While it’s good to see efforts taken towards networking, these actions are only a small fraction of your networking strategy.
You can reach out to every recruiter and hiring manager in Canada. Chances are, they are not going to have a job opening for you at the moment you contact them.
But eventually, they will hear of that opening, either in their own team or on their network’s team. The question is:
Will they remember you when that happens
Will they be willing to put their reputation on the line by giving you that referral
Your networking strategy is working, only when these two conditions are being met by your contacts.
Reaching out to a contact just once and leaving them with a “Let me know if you hear anything” message is not networking.
Contacting people only when you need something is not networking.
Building relationships with your network by periodically offering value and sharing ideas and information is networking.
It is a lifestyle. It is a habit. It is a marketing strategy based on empathy, generosity and sincerity.
You network needs to know, like and trust you. Only then, will the referrals to job interviews come.