Don’t Overlook Networking During COVID-19

Keep Networking Even During the Pandemic

Businesses are beginning to open up and life is slowly turning back to normal. In spite of this, the job market is admittedly not looking very good. According to Business Insider, the number of jobless claims in the United States has ballooned up to 39 million people. This has had a dramatic effect on both the economy and how the unemployed are looking for jobs. 

Throughout all of this, countless outlets have written about what it is you should and should not do during this time. While we still stand by class job search staples like submitting applications and sending out resumes, there is one we want to make sure you do not forget: networking.

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Stay In Touch With Those Who Can Help

The simple truth is that most people looking for a job right now are not going to be hired right away. This is why it’s imperative that you know which industries are hiring and continue submitting applications. That’s not all you should be doing, however. 

In 2016, Yale University published a study concluding that 70% of jobs are found via networking. So, even in these tough times, the best think you can do to bolster your chances is to keep on networking with those who you think can help you. Frankly, if there was ever a perfect time to work on your networking skills, it would be right now. 

What’s the Wrong Way to Network?

There is a right way and a wrong way to network. Doing it poorly is worse than not doing it at all. For example, don’t reach out to someone who you haven’t spoken to in years and bluntly ask them for a job. That’s going to be a huge turnoff for them and it will get you nowhere. 

Yes, you may run into one or two people who are willing to help, but the vast majority won’t be so kind. 

What’s the Right Way to Network?

Right now, you should think of someone in your network who could help you and your job search out. It should be someone who can make an introduction or connect you with someone at a company you’d like to work at. It could also be someone who can help you brainstorm or talk to you about their own career journey.

Once you’ve done that, come up with a list of things that you think you could do for them. Even a minor gesture could help move your search along. Just make sure that gesture is meaningful to them.

Is there any information or assistance you can offer them? Maybe there’s a project or initiate they’re looking for some help with? Heck, maybe they’ve posted on their social media that they’re doing certain things to help out during the pandemic (like giving our facemasks to frontline workers) and you’d like to help them pass those out. 

Even the small act of offering an extra set of hands to someone can go an incredibly long way. Who knows, maybe while you’re offering that set of hands, you’ll strike up a conversation with someone. During that conversation, maybe you’ll reveal to them at some point about the struggles you’re facing trying to find a job. And maybe that person will put in a good word for you and help you find a good, paying job.

You won’t know until you try!