Networking can be a key to a successful job search.
It can seem strange and foreign to conduct a job search. All that paperwork that has to be filled out just right, and the whole interview process where one conversation can determine the next several years of your life can keep you in a state of constant stress until it's over. But there are ways to make your IT job search part of your everyday life so that it doesn't create as much stress or even take as much effort.
Integrating your IT job search into your everyday life requires taking a different perspective on both your life and the job search process; however, it may not only reduce your stress, but also help you find more success in your job search.
When you network during a job search, it usually involves spending a lot of time updating your LinkedIn page and going to job fairs or other events designed for job search networking. What if you made this process more natural by talking about your job search with the people you come into contact with every day?
For instance, when you have lunch with friends or family members and they ask you "what's new," make sure to mention your job search. Without being a nuisance about it, mention what kind of job you are looking for and that you'd appreciate it if they would pass it along to their friends and colleagues. Friends and family are typically more than happy to help in any way they can, but all too often job seekers don't talk about their job search out of embarrassment or not wanting to be a bother.
You can also bring your job search into conversations on social media, as well as looking on Facebook and Twitter pages of companies you would like to work for, where job openings are sometimes posted. If you're not sure whether your social skills are as good as they should be for this type of natural networking, you can ask people around you that have good social skills to help you improve.
Being more like your everyday self can take the stress out of interview situations.
Interview situations are typically stressful, with way too much weight loading down each question and answer. Instead of letting the stress get to you, look at the interview as a chance to get to know the potential employer and for them to get to know you. Similar to a first date or a first get-together with a new friend, you should do your best to let your true self shine through, but understand that if it's not meant to be, that's okay, too.
Tell your best stories (about previous job experience), ask questions about the interviewer and the company they represent, and try to relax and have a good time. If the interviewer is so uptight that this bothers them, it may not be a place you want to work anyway. Many companies are moving toward less formal interview situations anyway, in an attempt to see if a candidate is a good cultural fit.
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