It shouldn’t be a surprise that our career progression, and the job hunting process, is largely driven by our networks. Some people are naturals: They thrive in a room full of new people, they can win someone over with a 2-minute conversation, and they land jobs because of it.
But what about the rest of us? If your palms sweat at the thought of walking into a networking event, or your stomach turns at the thought of messaging someone to grab a coffee, you are not alone. Unfortunately, when it comes to getting your foot in the door at many companies, it’s all about who you know.
In fact, you are 40% more likely to be hired if you are referred to the company by a current employee.
What if you’ve identified your dream job but don’t know a single person who works there? There’s still hope! Here are a few ways to get started that involve minimal networking:
LinkedIn Alumni Search
One of the most powerful, yet least known, features of LinkedIn is the Alumni Search. Start by visiting the page of a college or university you attended. After selecting the “See Alumni” button, you are presented with a full view of the alumni network and some pretty powerful filters. With just a few clicks, you can drill down to view which fellow classmates work at your dream company. From there, a quick message could open the door!
Consider a Headhunter
There’s a reason people can make a career out of recruiting - it works! Find a recruiter you can trust, let them know what you are looking for, and let them do the heavy lifting. More often than not, they have large networks that span across industries and companies. Better yet, they are professionals at making you sound great to prospective employers, and have a lot to gain when their introduction pays off.
Job Referral Websites
What if current employees of your dream company were excited to speak with interested candidates like yourself? Surprisingly, this is the case more often than you would think. With the referral bonus incentive offered by many companies, employees are sometimes more than willing to chat with you and pass along a referral if you are a good fit. Platforms like workwithme.io aggregate job listings that have been posted by actual employees. Find a job that interests you, indicate you are interested, and after connecting with a current employee, you may find yourself with a referral sooner than you’d think!
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