Do you hate to network? There are other ways to get a job.

Dec. 18, 2022

Tags: Networking
Networking can be an important part of finding a job, many say it's the best way, but I can assure you that it's not the only way to do it. It’s not right for everyone and I’ll go over the alternatives if it’s just not your thing.

For some it might come easily to walk into an event and start networking but many others are shy and don't feel comfortable trying to convince strangers to recommend them for a job.

Many people also have a great network already because they went to the right school or their parents are connected. They’re born with the so-called silver spoon in their mouths. These people probably do find many jobs through their connections but this is not really down to their own networking skills but rather the fortune of having been raised in the right place at the right time. Now I don’t begrudge anyone using their connections and I would encourage anyone with connections to use them but obviously not all of us can rely on these luxuries.

Other options to finding a job besides networking

So what other options are there? Much to the contrary to the average job seeking guru there are some people who find jobs by simply applying to them. The real question is how can you optimize your job search. I like to think of it a little like a sales funnel. The more jobs you apply to the more you have at the top of your funnel. How do you apply to a lot of jobs? Do it consistently every day and open your search up by using various job boards and by applying for remote jobs in a larger geography.

Then depending on how good your CV is and if you are applying to relevant jobs a certain portion of those will convert to interviews. Then depending on your interview skills and preparation for each interview a certain amount of those will convert to second interviews and so on until you get offers and eventually find that job without behaving like a smarmy car salesman!

Optimize the quantity of jobs that you apply to

If networking was the only way to get a job, how come there are literally thousands and thousands of jobs available on job boards throughout the world for every type of job out there. If companies didn’t hire in this way these wouldn't exist.

The first step in the funnel as I stated before is to optimize the amount of jobs that you apply to. You do this through consistency. If you apply for 20 min every day you will apply to a lot more jobs then if you do it for 8 hours once a month. Being one of the first to apply to an open position gives you a head start. When the poster first posts the job is when they are most intrigued as to who is applying. You also have a lot less competition right at the beginning. They could easily think, let’s interview this person because no one else has applied. Later on when there are hundreds of applicants this is not the case.

Improve the percentage of interviews you get

There are basically two ways that you can increase the percentage of interviews you get from the jobs that you apply to.

  1. Improve your application - This is mainly your CV but also includes your Linkedin profile as often lazy hiring teams will look at this first. This can be done by using an external agency or by yourself. I would recommend passing your CV around to trusted friends and family and ask for advice. Don’t criticize the feedback they give you. Just say thanks and then decide for yourself whether you would like to implement the suggestions or not. A quick win can be to customize your CV to match the job that you are applying to. Job titles are pretty fluid and you would be surprised how much more appealing your CV looks if it contains the exact job title that they are looking for. You can also use online tools that use AI to check that your CV contains similar keywords as the job offer. This is important as often companies will use the same AI software to filter job applications. Why not go to the top of the pile!
  2. Apply to more relevant jobs. Before, when I stated that you should be applying to a large number of jobs, that does not mean that you shouldn’t filter them out and just apply to everything. If you are applying to jobs that you are not qualified for then you are not going to be getting interviews.

Improve your chances of a successful interview.

So once you finally get those interviews you need to make sure you perform well or all that effort will be wasted. A successful interview is one where you either get a job offer or at the very least pass on to the next round of interviews.

In today's world of remote working interviews have also gone remote. In other words they are normally done by video conference. This can mean that companies are more likely to interview more people as the cost to them has decreased drastically. Interviewing 10 candidates in one day is feasible now whereas previously this was impossible. It also means that they are more likely to have multiple rounds of interviews where the whole team gets a chance to have their opinion of the candidate. This is a double edged sword. You are more likely to get interviews but when you do get them there is more competition and more stages to the interview process.

The first step to improving your chances of having a successful interview is to research the company, job and person that will be interviewing you. Your first interview will likely be with an HR person they love to talk about the culture and values of the workplace so try to find out that information from their website. If it is a small startup you can also go to crunchbase to see if they have funding etc. For a larger publicly traded company you can also download their last annual or quarterly report to get a lot of information.

To research the job look carefully at the job description. For all of the skills that have been listed and try to think of relevant skills that you might have. Look online for some sample interview questions and try to put together decent answers that you can talk about in an interview.

Nowadays everyone has some sort of online profile so it is nice to research the person who will be interviewing you to get a feel of what they will be like. The best place for this is Linkedin because that info is put there to be used in a professional setting. I would avoid stalking them on instagram and facebook as this type of information won’t be very relevant to the interview. What school did they go to? Where else did they work? Where are they from? Do you have any common grounds?

After doing the prep work and researching a company you might like to do a practice interview with someone you trust or with a paid advisor. Even if you don’t do this with another person I would suggest practicing by yourself speaking out loud to typical questions. Having a clear train of thought will help for the actual interview.

In conclusion, networking is not the only way to find a job, and it may not be the right approach for everyone. There are other options such as applying to jobs through job boards and optimizing your application through a strong CV and targeted job search. It is also important to consistently apply to a large number of jobs and focus on improving the percentage of interviews you receive through both improving your application and applying to more relevant jobs. By following these strategies and being proactive in your job search, you can increase your chances of finding a job without relying solely on networking.

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