Build Your Network

Did you know that most job openings are not advertised? It's true — most employers have enough applicants without advertising. They often prefer to find employees from people they trust. This network of referrals is the "hidden job market." You can tap into this network by getting to know people who can help you. Don’t ask them for a job. Ask them for information. 

Use the Your Network (pdf) to organize everyone that is in your network.

Tips for Building Your Network
Ask for information.
  • You can ask about the occupation. You can also ask about industries or employers.
  • Ask about what you want to know.
  • Be polite. Don’t be too pushy or you may turn people off.  
Be prepared to talk about yourself.
  • Make sure you’re clear about your job skills and background for your job target.
  • Have a résumé ready.  
Follow good networking habits.
  • Networking is like making friends. It's about building relationships.
  • Think about ways to give something back to those who have helped you.  
Find people in your job target.
  • Start with friends, family members, past coworkers, and neighbors. They may know someone in your target job or at your target company.
  • Find networking groups on Meetup or the Scioto Ridge Job Network Group.
  • Tell them about your career goals.  
Send thank-you notes when people are helpful to you.
  • Always say thank you for any information or job leads you obtain.
Find a mentor.
  • This is a person who knows about the occupation in which you are interested.
  • Get feedback on your job search ideas and questions.
  • Ask to shadow someone on the job. 
Look into professional groups.
  • See if your job target has a professional group. Many members are eager to help job seekers. They may know employers with job openings.
Keep your key contacts informed about your efforts in the job search.
  • Your key contacts want to help you.
  • Create an e-blast that updates your job search and email it to your network.

Connect with People Online

Networking is just talking with people. Social networking is talking with people online. Employers post jobs on all social media.

Be careful.

  • Never list your address, phone number, or bank accounts. Don’t give anyone your social security number.
  • Be positive. Don’t argue with people online. It is likely that employers will see everything you post.
  • Scammers may try to sell you training or job search assistance that should be free.  
Common Social Networking Websites
  • Many people connect with others in their career field to learn about events and trends through LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn can be used to research employers.
  • Start by creating a profile on this site. This lists your skills, career goals, and past jobs.
  • Connect with people you know. You can ask them to post recommendations for you. You can find others in your field by seeing the contacts from people you know. You can ask to add them to your “connections.”
  • You can also search for groups with your career interests. These groups update information often. You can ask questions and get job leads in these groups.
  • Twitter is an online social networking and micro-blogging service where registered users can write and send 140 character tweets. Unregistered users can only read tweets.
  • Twitter sends very short messages to many people at one time.
  • You can use it to update "followers" on your career or find job leads.
  • Employers use it to tell people about job openings. They also use it to learn more about applicants.
  • Job seekers post their basic information. They may link to their résumés or blogs. 
  • Facebook is a place to connect with your friends, people, and organizations. You make connections with people who share your interests.
  • You can search for people who work for employers you’d like to learn about. You can ask to connect with them about your job search.