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Career coaches on the biggest mistakes people make in the job search

Networking

Networking

It is too late to try and network when you need something. Networking is about mutually beneficial professional relationships developed over time.

Start by connecting with three different contacts a week. Then, when you want to find a job, you have many people to support you.

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'So, Tell me about Yourself'

... or some version of that is one of the most fundamental and common questions asked in any first round of a Job Interview.

Hiring managers usually like to ask this question, because it ...

Short vs long answers

The conventional expert opinion is to provide a crisp, 30 second to 1-minute answer to the question "Tell me about yourself", but one minute isn’t enough time to deliver a meaningful response that benefits you as a candidate.

Experts prefer a short answer, as it has less chance of leading the candidate to drift or ramble.

Benefits of a long answer
  • A longer answer to "Tell me about yourself" allows you to provide a useful narrative beyond the résumé.
  • It lets you reveal key motivations that drove your career path.
  • You can shape the interview in your direction.
  • It's an opportunity to stand out from the other candidates.
Purpose of Career Networking

It involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, achieve career goals, or learn more about your field, or another field you'd like to work in....

Top 7 Networking Tips
  1. Include the right people: anyone who can assist you with a career move
  2. Know what your career network can do for you
  3. Keep in touch - work your network: People are more willing to help when they know who you are
  4. Give to get - what can you do for your career network
  5. Keep track of your network

    make sure you know who is who, where they work, and how to get in touch.

  6. Network online
  7. Attend networking events.
Networking is necessary

We have to get over the belief that being competent and qualified means we shouldn't need help finding a new job.

We feel this way because networking makes us feel vulnerable. We are a...

Networking is effective

Hiring managers want job candidates whom they know they can trust. That is why they prefer candidates who come through personal referrals.

Referrals have a 50 percent chance of getting an interview, while non-referrals have only a 3 percent chance. Referrals or internal candidates fill up to 80 percent of jobs.

How to network

Networking is not just talking to strangers - it is also initiating career conversations with your existing acquaintances.

Keep these questions in mind: Can your siblings, neighbors, friends, hairdresser or other regular contacts describe your aspirations and particular expertise in one or two sentences? Can you explain theirs?