When you’re preparing for a job search, networking is a way to access far more opportunities in the defense industry. It allows you to learn about unadvertised job openings, essentially giving you a way to access the hidden job market. Plus, it can expedite the hiring process, as you may be able to get your resume directly in front of a hiring manager.
However, if you’re going to tap your network to further your career, you need to ensure you’re creating the right connections. Here’s a look at how to maximize your relationships for job search success.
Start with Your Existing Network
In many cases, beginning with your existing network is the simplest way to use your connections during a job search. You can benefit from the fact that these connections are already potentially strong, limiting the amount of groundwork necessary before you request assistance.
Start by contacting people you know and letting them know you are looking for a job. They may be able to refer you to someone in their own network or provide you with advice and support.
Attend Networking Events
Networking events are a great way to meet new people and expand your network. Look for events that focus on the defense industry or your specific field, making an effort to attend them whenever possible.
Opt for in-person events over virtual ones when you can, as it’s often easier to start forging connections with more direct interactions. Additionally, prepare your elevator pitch and choose some questions to ask the people you meet in advance. That helps you avoid lulls in conversation, which can help you build a rapport faster.
Join Professional Organizations
Professional organizations can provide you with opportunities to network with people in your industry and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments. Essentially, they create opportunities for networking similar to attending events. Plus, most have a list of members that you can potentially use to find connections, even if there isn’t an upcoming gathering.
Look for organizations that are relevant to your field or the defense industry and consider becoming a member. Then, attend events, participate in discussions, and connect with other members.
Find Professional Social Media Groups
Groups on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are an excellent way to engage with others who work in your field or industry. By performing searches and joining relevant groups, candidates can quickly expand their network. Plus, by participating in discussions, professionals have a new way to demonstrate their expertise and boost their brand, which could make accessing opportunities easier.
How to Find Groups on LinkedIn:
- Look for groups directly in the Search bar by entering the search term (ie. defense groups).
- Look through the groups and click on the ones you’re interested in to view their details.
- Click “Join.”
How to Find Groups on Facebook:
- Open the menu and click on “Groups.”
- At the top, click on the “Discover” tab.
- Search for a specific group by clicking on the Search bar and entering the search term.
- Scroll through the suggested list and click on a group to view its details.
- Click “Join.”
Offer Your Support
As your network grows, offering your support to other members makes a difference. Generally, people are far more willing to assist you if you’ve done the same for them. Essentially, helping out makes the relationship feel more reciprocal when you ultimately make a request.
Maintain the Relationships
Networking is not just about making connections; it’s about building relationships. Make sure to follow up with the people you meet regularly, allowing you to effectively stay on their radar and create opportunities for relationship growth. Send thank-you notes after meetings or events, share articles or resources that you think they might find interesting, and keep up-to-date on their lives and careers while also sharing details about yours. That shows you aren’t just interested in leveraging the connection for your job search but in getting to know them as a professional and person.
Ultimately, networking is a powerful tool when you want to find a new position in the defense industry. Do you want to get your job search off on the right foot? Partner with the Staffing Resource Group to find outstanding opportunities in the defense sector quickly. Apply Today and SuRGe your career forward.