The 5 Biggest Job Search Mistakes – #2: Not Networking Enough, or At All


We speak with thousands of job seekers every year from almost every country, industry, job function, and seniority.

The bad news is that there are a lot of places people are stumbling in their search. The good news is that many of their job-search woes can be diagnosed and fixed. That’s why we created an on-demand class geared towards helping people overcome the 5 biggest job search mistakes (available here).

This brings us to mistake #2:

Not Networking Enough, or At All.

Networking is like personal health: by the time you realize how important it is, it’s already too late. And if you haven’t already built out your network before conducting your search, get started ASAP. According to Social Selling Strategist, Jill Rowley: “Your network is your net-worth.” While this is certainly the case in generating sales leads, online credibility, and growth opportunities, the same rings true in your job search: a large network with deep connections leads to better chances of landing a job via network referral.

Here are 3 things you need to consider when it comes to networking as part of a job search:

Networking Doesn’t Supplement Applications; Applications Supplement Networking

See mistake #1 for a snapshot about why this statement is so important. According to an ABC News report, 80% of jobs are landed through networking. And when it comes you your job search, spend 80% of your time dedicated to networking. Most people have this inverted; job seekers will spend the bulk of their time applying to jobs, and will rarely spend time networking.

So while you network into companies and get your name and resume in front of the right people, remember to submit your resume online to keep it in the database and to respect the hiring process.

Empowering Your Network

One mistake people make when they do try to leverage their network, is they do not provide enough information for your network to provide assistance. It’s not enough to say: “I’m looking for a new job in Healthcare, any leads would help!” Take the recipient’s perspective. They are going to see this in an email or on LinkedIn and are left to fill in the gaps: what kind of position are you looking for, what region, what sub-section of healthcare, etc? They are more likely to assist and feel comfortable in making connections if you can share exactly what you are looking to do. So make it easy for your network.

Relying Solely on Your Current Set of Contacts

The most relevant people in your network are your most recent connections. Everyone you have met two, three or more years ago has likely gone stale as a connection unless you are actively engaging with them. This is why you need to constantly build and refresh your network. Someone you just met at an event or in an informational interview is going to have you top of mind and know what you are currently after, as opposed to someone you met years ago.

So it’s time to tap in to new channels to build your network. Start leveraging your alumni network, messaging new people on LinkedIn, attend industry events, and be active on social media!

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