Managing to network into high-paying jobs often means forsaking the law of averages. Those who settle for captivating a recruiter via overwhelming brute-force campaigns miss the point entirely: most companies are looking for an elite, ambitious talent sample with clearly defined goals to pull from hundreds of plucky candidates looking for any job they can get. “Who you know” still counts for a great deal, however. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then check out these methods to rub shoulders with the right people for your chosen career.
Choose job fair networking strategies wisely
Call it a career cliché, but it undeniably endures for a reason: come to a job fair prepared to campaign for the job you want, not the one you have. Showing up dressed for an immediate interview leaves a positive, lasting impression on recruiters. Bring along several copies of your recently updated CV to assure any and all recruiters, “I stay ready for any opportunity, so I never have to get ready.” Most importantly, convey respect for every recruiter’s time by strictly prioritising the companies you most want to hire you and walking the floor with a polished “elevator pitch”, a malleable spiel you can improvise slightly on the fly that gets across your case for a job in no more than a few minutes. When competing with throngs of potential hires opting to “wing” their recruiter encounters, few approaches will separate anyone from the pack quite like coming across as an employee ready to save a chosen company time and money by interviewing decisively on a moment’s notice.
Build relationships through genuine interest
Here’s a reality of human psychology: people are never more susceptible to persuasion than when they feel influential. Instead of desperately “working the room” and trying to curry vary the favour of every potential contact with an unoccupied ear, go in with a plan based on actually researching the company you claim to be so keen on joining and make their representative feel genuinely flattered you would take such an interest in what they do. Your ideal case should get across that you both have time right now to devote to a new job and have thought about how you and this company can mutually benefit from a long-lasting relationship. Establish something the company is missing that you just happen to be uniquely equipped to add to its equation. Finally, never walk away from an encounter without gaining your new networking contact’s business card or some other means of circling back later. Above all, however, make it clear you have taken a very particular interest in working for each contact’s specific employer.
Cultivate a networking “in” within the company
Relentlessly badgering potential networking leads for an audience will likely drive an inadvertent wedge between you and a potential guide to a new career. However, it never hurts to spend time with the right crowd to make connections. Lorry drivers, for example, make a lot of money, and you could get an even better offer with a company if you already have people in the company that will vouch for your character. While looking for a lorry to drive at an Arrow Truck sales event, talk to the other buyers and get yourself an in on the community. If you know where a lot of drivers have their trucks serviced, you know where to possibly bend an ear and pick a brain about their experiences with their company, their company’s reputation within the industry, and maybe even a sales representative or manager you could reach out to about potential career opportunities.
Start networking now, but be patient
A timeless Zen quote recommends, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” The crux being, attaining a goal should not be the end of the positive habits that brought you to it. Quality career networking is not one-time meet and greet. Rather, it is continuous cultivation of solid relationships based on trust earned over time. Making professional contacts only when you need a new job and leaving them high and dry afterwards sends a message that they only matter when you benefit from their connections. Always personally thank your contacts when they put their time and resources to work for your benefit, and never hesitate to return a favour. The more eagerly and sincerely you step up to lend your network a hand, the more people will jump in when you are in need.
The truth is, networking for a high-paying job is no different from a lot of lessons every adult learns about being a respectable human being: treat people the way you would hope to be treated. Value our peers’ time. Most importantly, be where others in your desired industry are so that you can make the connections to get you where you want to be.
Do you have any advice on how to network into high-paying jobs? Let us know in the comments below.