When my youngest graduated his older sister divulged he was about to enter Mommy’s Boot Camp. Not a lot of fun she assured him as a twice boot camper graduate. Networking was key to her jobs.
Statistics validate jobs are found through networking. What can graduates and parents do if they have no industry connections?
Network for a Job and the activities on this webpage give both graduates and parents the opportunity to work together to build a job-specific network.
Graduates must take the initiative to interface directly with new network contacts. Best for parents to remain in the capacity of a researcher and adviser.
The article below, New Graduate Confirms Job Hunt Stats demonstrates how just one key contact resulted in employment.
New Graduate lands job from one network contact after five months online with no response!
Brett graduated in June with a Civil Engineering degree from Oregon State University. He returned home to Northern California where his mother described their town as a geriatric community. Brett spent five months working hard to find and apply to posted jobs on the Internet. Even mom and dad assisted with researching online posted jobs.
In October Dad remembered a Denver sales professional in the self-storage industry he knew. In a phone call to the sales professional, Dad asked if he might know any engineering firms in Denver that hire new college graduates. The sales professional said he did not know but would ask around.
Less than two weeks the sales professional was sitting in the pickup of a vice president of a small engineering firm at a development site. The sales professional asked the vice president if his company ever hired new college graduates. Yes was the response and they had difficulty finding them. The vice president indicated they occasionally posted on Craig’s list for entry level positions. The sales professional got Brett’s resume to the vice president.
Within a week the vice president invited Brett to Denver for an onsite interview. The interview took place Thursday and Tuesday Brett received an email with an offer letter. Two weeks later Brett started his new job in Denver.
Brett’s job hunt fit all the stats in the introduction of Network for a Job:
5% of job candidates obtain employment through Internet job boards. Brett’s five month online job hunt produced no interviews and no job offers.
15% of job candidates find employment opportunities through recruiters. Brett did not find his job through a recruiter nor did any recruiters contact him.
65 to 70% of jobs are created by small businesses. Brett’s job is with a small business that employs less than two hundred.
70% to 85% of candidates obtain employment through networking. Brett’s network referral came from Dad resulting in an interview and a job offer.
85% of jobs are never advertised. Brett’s job was not advertised.
90% of hiring managers find candidates through their own contacts. Brett’s interviewing and job offer were handled exclusively by the vice president.
Networking Activities to Engage Parents and New Graduates
Activity #1 Preparation
Email: Create a new email address solely for job search. Preferably one that provides name recognition and incorporates your full name. Construct a complete automatic signature as demonstrated in Network for a Job Chapter 9.
Voicemail: Record a professional personalized voice mail for your cell/smart phone. Only receive calls, messages and texts via your cell for job hunt. Refrain from using acronyms or unprofessional language.
Example Voicemail: “Your have reached the voice mail of (full name). Please leave your name and phone number so I can promptly return your call. You can also reach me by email at (email address). Thank you for contacting me.”
Please note that Millennials generally only want to use their cell/smart phones for texts and emails. However no one gets hired without human voice interaction and great conversations.
Social Media: Build a professional profile on LinkedIn. Be sure to include your cell phone number and email address. Other social media accounts and online presence should remain private. Too much information can eliminate your candidacy for jobs.
Activity #2 Discussion: Importance of Networking
Discuss the importance in networking offline after reading the Introduction to Network for a Job and the above article New Graduate Confirms Job Hunt Stats. Best hires for entry level positions are those candidates who demonstrate good people-to-people soft skills. Learn how to master networking skills prior to job interviews. Always present a positive attitude when networking.
Activity #3 Compile List of Sales Professionals
Read Chapter 1 of Network for a Job. Comply a list of products and services that might be used for the industry position to which the new graduate aspires. Contacting college professors, research on the Internet and reviewing industry profiles on LinkedIn to assist with your list.
Investigate sales professionals that sell these products as indicated in Network for a Job, Chapter 1.
Review the PeopleScript for sales professionals in Chapter 8.
Start your network with a couple of sales professionals and learn the ease of conversation.
Activity #4 Online Engagement
To discover industry information participate in LinkedIn group discussions. LinkedIn allows membership in fifty groups. You can join and leave groups at any time.
Parents can join groups that might be of interest to their new graduate. They should view discussions but not participate on behalf of their new graduate. If parents research information of interest, they can encourage their new graduate to participate for themselves. Firsthand private information (referenced in Network for a Job) can be gained from LinkedIn discussions.
New graduates can take their online engagement offline and ask key contact permission to phone them.
Note: Jobs and job discussions are posted to individual LinkedIn groups. Recruiters will post on LinkedIn Groups as it is cost effective.
Activity #5 In-Person Networking Opportunities
Meetup groups at www.meetup.com bring people together that have shared interests. The groups plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities. Select a couple of professional groups that might be of interest.
Encourage your new graduate to join and attend the meetings to become familiar with networking face-to-face.
Parents will remember Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a non-profit educational international organization that helps people with public speaking and leadership skills. This is another organization that might benefit your new college graduate. Local Toastmaster chapters are found at www.toastmasters.org.
Activity #6 Book Read
New graduates have been raised in a total “digital” world. An eye-opening and fun read is the book, Contagious, Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger is highly recommended. Jonah Berger is a professor of marketing at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He provides research and student surveys to show why certain stories and products are shared or go viral. His findings can be applied to job hunts.
Parents and new graduates can engage in a discussion that networking is better than “get found” activities such as personal branding, blogging, tweeting, Pinterest, etc. Conclusion should be the value in networking over an online presence to find a job.
Please note activities for Career Centers and Employment Groups can be modified for additional assistance to new graduates.