Networking: Whom to Call When

Many career counselors say that networking is the best way to find a job, and the more people you contact, the better. But it is also important to consider how you go about networking.

If you just take a scattershot approach, making as many calls as you can to whomever you can, without thinking about who you are calling and when to call them, you will be squandering opportunities, says career strategy specialist Bill Barnett,  who adds that you need to think strategically.

Figure out when the best time is to talk to people in different areas. You can’t do everything all at once, or allow things to move at their own pace, Barnett says.

The first thing to do is to get moving. Don’t overanalyze the situation, or allow your reservations or fears to get in the way. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to prepare more, or wait for the best time to call – there is no best time.

Things usually take longer than you think they will. The people you call may not be able to get back to you right away because of their schedule. So, Barnett says, don’t wait; begin now.

Barnett says that when you begin calling, first call people you know the best. This is the best way to get off to a good start. You can test your pitch on them – test out your presentation of your personal brand, the skills and accomplishments you want employers to associate with you. These people also can give you ideas, as well as names of other people to call, other things to emphasize – or not emphasize.

Then, as you become more confident in your direction and your delivery, you can branch out to people whom you have not met to begin testing the waters about what opportunities are available. You can start doing some networking through social media as well.

Next, you want to consider which companies to approach first. Do you want to start with the ones you really want to work for, or do you want to begin with companies a little further down on your list? It might seem like common sense to go with the companies you really like first, and that might be the way to go because you allow more time for job openings to occur at those places.

But starting with places not so high on your list also has advantages, such as allowing you to hone your delivery before you approach your high-priority target companies.

If you’re looking for work in Chicago, Anchorage, Lake Oswego, Portland, Tacoma, or Seattle, make your first phone call to a recruiter at the Opti Staffing Group. We can help your job search by selling your skills to these cities’ top employers. We look forward to hearing from you.

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