Surviving the slump: how to use networking to land jobs

Surviving the slump: how to network your way out of unemployment
WATCH ABOVE: Everyone has heard about the ‘hidden job market’, but few job searchers spend time uncovering it. Mia Sosiak explains why hunting for jobs online is a waste of time.

Two job seekers that Global News has followed since February are turning to networking to get the inside track on job openings and better position themselves.

Jo Moss and Mike Lakusta are professionals who lost their jobs in the oil patch last year.

Global News paired them with a career coach, who is helping them get re-hired.

Richard Bucher, with Right Management, recommends walking away from your computer to find work.

Last year, 31% of the company’s clients found positions online. However, a whopping 69% got offers through their network.

But almost everybody sits at home, clicking away, applying for jobs posted on websites.

Bucher suggests figuring out who you know that is connected to your future, and will return your call or email quickly.

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Then reach out to them, and set up a coffee meeting to ask about upcoming changes at their company or in their industry.

But for some people that is challenging.

“They see networking in some cases as sleazy. It’s ‘I’m selling something, I’ve got to learn how to sell myself or market myself’,” Bucher said. “Wrong on all counts — networking is fundamentally, relationship-building.”

WATCH:Career coach Richard Bucher explains in detail how to build your network to get re-hired faster.
Surviving the Slump: extended video on networking for job search
Surviving the Slump: extended video on networking for job search

Moss and Lakusta are both still looking for work.

She is an experienced communications professional, who has mainly worked in the energy industry.

Moss has had some interviews, but so far, no offers.

Lakusta is a young engineer who had just started his career when he got laid off.

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He is currently taking a project management course to expand his resume.

Several times a week, they connect with their contacts.

Bucher suggests meeting people you already know for coffee every few weeks, then build your network out from there.

Networking meetings are a chance to sleuth out what’s happening at an organization or company that might lead to openings, and maybe earn yourself an internal reference.

Treat them as research missions, not job interviews.

It’s also a good idea to look for ways that you can help your contacts, so the relationship is symbiotic.