That’s why they call it netWORKing
Depending on which study or survey where you look, you will see averages in the 80-90 percent range. That’s how many successful job searches can be traced back to networking.
You might think that, as an older job seeker, networking should be easy because of the many contacts that you’ve made over the years. And you would be – partially – right. Right in that your pool of contacts is relatively larger than your younger counterparts. But you would be wrong if you think that, the number of contacts alone, will make networking any easier.
Networking is something that never stops. Even when you’re employed and you don’t need “contacts” to help you secure another position, you should still be networking – if, for no other reason than it will help you be more successful in your job.
As a job seeker, however, you must keep your network fresh. Whenever it’s appropriate, circle back to reach out a second, or third time to contacts you know. This is especially true if you haven’t spoken with someone in two or three months. There is no telling what has changed in their worlds as well as yours.
In addition, keep in mind that networking can be a two-way street. Despite the fact that you’re reaching out to them to help you find a new position, keep in mind that you yourself probably have a substantial network of contacts. Any of those contacts could be beneficial to your contacts. Invite them to peruse your network for individuals who may benefit them. Offer to introduce them to your contacts when it’s appropriate.
That’s what’s know as proactive networking or reciprocation. You may be able to provide them with access to someone who can help them just as likely as they can with you.
Job seeking is a lot of work and networking is part of that job. You can make it pay if you keep your network fresh and stay proactive.