If you have tech skills, you might assume it’s easy to find a job these days. In this, you are correct; the volume of IT jobs far exceeds the list of available talent. But that brings its own set of problems. If you select “open to work” on LinkedIn, you’re going to get bombarded by recruiters. This is especially true if you have experience.
How will you select the right company with the right work environment? Here’s how networking can help you find not only a better job—but a better cultural fit.
Why Is It So Important to Network With Like-Minded Professionals in Your Field?
Networking Eliminates Job Search Risk
Taking a new IT job is risky. How can you trust a recruiter to understand what kind of tech environment you might be stepping into? How can you know what the environment is really like before you take the job? Sure, you might find ratings on sites like Glassdoor, but there are lots of disgruntled employees out there posting about how an employer is terrible. You know there are two sides to every story, and so, appropriately, view these reviews as potentially inaccurate data. Is there something you can do to learn more about the company?
The answer is by finding out about the job from someone who’s been there.
Don’t discount the power of networking as a critical tool in your job search. Not only can you get the inside scoop on a company, but you can reach out to current employees of companies that you really want to work at but can’t seem to get into. Networking relationships can get you the interview you’ve been trying for when just sending a resume doesn’t seem to work.
Networking is particularly important if you’re fresh out of college or bootcamp. You’ve been trained in the skills you need to make it in IT. But getting that first job is almost always a challenge. Here are a few ways to use networking to find your next career.
How to Use Networking to Benefit Your Job Search
Networking is all about who you know and who they know. Each of your contacts is connected to other contacts that may eventually get you where you want to be. Communicating regularly with your networking connections will help move your career forward. But you’re in IT, not sales. How do you sell yourself via networking in a way that benefits your career?
- Be brave. Introverts sometimes battle themselves even when they know reaching out to others is in their best interests. Since many of us in IT have gone remote, it’s gotten harder to overcome tendencies to stay within a bubble. You can and should fight this by building your social network. LinkedIn is a great social platform where you can begin to broaden your reach. Start there.
- Be patient. Cultivating relationships takes time. Make it a goal to reach out to new people every day. Even one or two new connections can add up to something real over time. If you have a targeted company you’re trying to get into, consider looking for other IT employees to network with. Once you’re connected, you can mine these relationships for a career move.
- Offer to help. How many times have you gotten a LinkedIn connection request only to be immediately solicited? It’s more appropriate to build a relationship slowly by asking how you can help or responding to the person’s social media posts for a while before you ask for a favor.
Ready to Start Networking?
The Custom Group of Companies wants to be your networking partner. We’ve spent years building our networks. Connecting with our recruiting team is the first step for finding a better career. Check out our job board, and then give us a call for connections to dozens of smart, innovative companies that may be exactly what you are looking for in your next career move.
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