It may disappoint those looking for jobs after graduation to learn that, over the past five years or so, over 70% of jobs that have been filled haven’t been advertised. How then do employers find employees if they aren’t advertising their college graduate jobs? The answer is as simple: networking.
Ask employers whether they prefer to advertise or have employees recommend others for a job, and the majority will tell you they take a recommendation every time. Why? Firstly, it saves them money and time. Secondly, when a respected individual recommends a potential employee, it tells the employer a lot about the person being recommended. If the employer values their employee’s opinion, and the employee recommends you, then it is logical that the company will be interested in you for college graduate jobs they may have available.
What Is Networking?
You have likely heard the expression “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know”. While it’s always important to be knowledgeable, who you know, or networking, makes a huge difference. Simply put, networking is getting to know the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Think of it like a spider’s web. The more strands you build at your center, the more strands you can use to move your web. The more people you know, the more connections you can make to other people. It’s about building and maintaining as many solid, professional relationships as you can. Those relationships are mutually beneficial, and they could ultimately lead to entry-level jobs after you graduate.
As was said at the start, it is a great way to find entry-level jobs for college graduates. Other benefits are that it helps develop all important soft skills, such as:
It can open up new career paths and business opportunities and provide learning opportunities from your peers as well as mentoring opportunities. It gives also you a pool of people whom you know and trust and who know and trust you – for mutual benefit.
Start now! It takes time to build your network and to develop those crucial relationships. It is not a quick fix, and it is not about the number of people you know. It is about knowing the right people and creating mutually beneficial relationships. Target your networking approach to bring you into contact with people who can assist you in your chosen career path. And remember, relationships work both ways; it is not all about you using them for your own needs, it is about establishing long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial.