It is estimated that one's network is behind 60 to 80 percent of all job changes or job interviews.
This figure may be slightly lower for jobs in the public sector, where the law requires that all vacancies are advertised. Nonetheless - your network is important while looking for a job.
Who is Your Network?
Everybody has a network - you can start by making a mind-map, to get an overview of all the people in your network.
Follow the 5 steps below
- Start by writing the names of people from your education - classmates, project team members, teachers, guest lecturers, tutors, study board members etc.
- Think of your colleges from your jobs (+external partners), from your internship, volunteering jobs etc.
- Now turn to your private life and start with your family. Write all of the closest members down, but also remember your uncle, your girl/boyfriend's family and your cousin's wife etc.
- Refer now to your friends. What do their parents and siblings do? Also write the names of friends of friends - the ones you have heard your friends talk about, and the ones you've met at parties etc.
- Broaden your thinking to people from your neighborhood, your sports clubs etc. And finally think of your trips abroad - have you been studying abroad? Going on language holidays etc? Have you met some interesting people that you still have some kind of contact with?
What does your network do?
Now you need to add job titles to all the people in your network.
What do they do? Where do they work? In what areas will they be able to help you? And how will they benefit from drawing on your knowledge and contacts?
Look at your mind-map - all of these people are in your network, and you will be able to use them when you are looking for a job.
Try to keep a natural contact with them. Save phone numbers and addresses, remember names and places of work, send Christmas cards or emails, and participate in meetings, seminars, courses and lectures that you hear about.
Exercise: Download "Who is Your Network?"