Many say that networking is the best way to get a job. This is how Roneil got his at Oracle, even though the job was originally meant for experienced hires.
I had the opportunity to catch up with a close friend of mine, Roneil, who I met during my studies in The University of Melbourne. We met again at a leadership and employment conference held in Monash University, where we were both invited to be workshop speakers.
For too many times, I have heard and have preached that networking is one of the best ways to get a job, as compared to conventional means like applying for jobs online or “resume spamming”.
And when I chatted with Roneil, I was absolutely astonished. He is living proof and can testify that networking does work in the employment ball game, because it worked for him.
Here’s how it helped him secure employment and how it can help you too.
It all started when he attended a marketing event held by SAMM (Students Association of Management and Marketing), a students’ club which serves the commerce student cohort in his university.
He met several people there and bonded with a particular individual over a common interest in management consulting and case studies. Let’s just call him Bob (obviously not his real name).
Over the next few years, Roneil kept in touch with Bob and they exchanged case studies and had chats around management consulting.
Roneil also found out that Bob was in fact, a senior who was one year ahead of him, and Bob learnt that Roneil was a strong public speaker.
Bob graduated one year ahead of Roneil and started working in a management consulting firm.
One day, Bob sent Roneil a LinkedIn message, mentioning that in the course of his work, he found out about a job opportunity in Oracle and vouched for him [Roneil] to meet his contact there. Let’s call the Oracle contact James (obviously not his real name as well).
Bob’s support of Roneil did impress James, and James became Roneil’s supporter within Oracle when Roneil went through the application process.
James’ advice was absolutely critical in helping Roneil get through the application process and procedures. On top of that, this job opening in Oracle was meant for experienced hires, not recent university graduates. Without the support from both Bob and James, Roneil wouldn’t have heard about the opportunity nor be able to get through the door.
Interestingly enough, the resume and reference check was more or less a formality for Roneil. He says that although it’s important to have solid grades and good references, what really got him across the line was impressing people like Bob and James.
So what can you learn from this?
- Go to as many relevant events as possible.
- Meet people and follow one of the fundamental rules of networking: create rapport through common interests.
- Connect with your university seniors. They are one of the best contacts you can make as they will also enter the workforce slightly earlier than you and will be able to understand the challenges you are going through.
- Stay in touch and share advice with the contacts you make. Foster and nurture your connections.
- When talking to your contacts, do mention your strengths and interests – this would help them remember any opportunities they come across that might be relevant to you.
- Be sure to do the same for them or for any others in your network. Don’t just wait to receive, take the initiative to give.
What are your thoughts about networking? Would you give it a shot?