Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Find a Friend to Help You Land a Job

By Ted Hekman

If you've been reading about careers and jobs over the past several years, you will no doubt have read that the best jobs never find their way to the newspaper want ads, or even online job boards. That's because they are filled by people who are referred by friends and colleagues.

Put yourself in the place of the person looking for a job candidate. If you place an ad in the paper or online, you may get hundreds of replies, just a few of which might be a fit for the job. But to find those few, you have to wade through all the others and that can take up a lot of your time. And even when you do find a resume that looks promising, that person is still a stranger to you and you have no idea what kind of person or worker he or she might be.

On the other hand, what if a candidate is recommended to you by a trusted friend or colleague? Right away you are more inclined towards that person because of who recommended them. And you don't have to do all that tedious reading of hundreds of unsuitable resumes.

So where does that leave you, the job seeker? Well, you want to be the candidate being recommended!

But here's the catch. What if you don't know anyone in the industry or company you've targeted? Does that mean you have to go back to the want ads? Not necessarily.

This is a classic opportunity to use your network. Now even if you are quite young and only recently started on your career, you do still have a network. Think about it. Your network contains all those people you have gone through college with, any high school friends you've kept in touch with, your immediate and extended family, your friends and more.

But the great thing about networking effectively is it can also give you access to the people in other people's networks! So maybe you don't know anybody in the pharmaceutical industry who can refer you for a job there, but maybe someone in your network does.

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