How to use your network to land your next interview

Feb 18, 2018

Your network is the door to possibilities – so knock on those doors!

Applying for jobs can be stressful and overwhelming. Sometimes, just finding opportunities that excite you and move your career in the right direction can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Once you find that dream job, the pressure’s on to stand out in a sea of hundreds of other applicants. For many, that means scrutinizing every word of their cover letter and application, and while that’s certainly important, landing an interview amidst intense competition can take a little something extra.

So what can you do to distinguish yourself, move beyond the confines of the application process, and land that interview?

According to Jobvite’s 2017 Job Seeker Nation Study, which surveyed 2,000 Americans, referral candidates can be five times more likely to get hired than other candidates. That means your network can work in your favor when looking for your next position. In the first podcast of this three-part series, we talked about how important it is to build your network and connect with people at any opportunity.

In this episode of The Spark podcast, Rachelle Roberts, Energy Efficiency and Transportation Recruiter, and T Clark, Director of Recruiting Operations, share their tips for networking your way to the interview process.

“Your network is the door to possibilities,” said Roberts. “So knock on those doors of friends and colleagues and find out who they know and how they might be able to help.”

Listen to the podcast below, and read on for some of T and Rachelle’s advice to get the interview.

1. Do your research.

“I often hear from my hiring managers that the number one cause for concern during an interview is the candidate’s lack of knowledge about the organization,” said Roberts. That’s why it’s so important to research, research, research. Look beyond Wikipedia and the organization’s homepage, and be sure to read multiple articles from reputable sources. That research will help you to draw a connection between your passion and interest and the job you’re seeking.

2. Talk to your connections to learn more about the job and/or organization.

Check your connections to see if you know anybody who already works at the organization or if there is someone in your network who can introduce you to a recruiter or hiring manager. See if they can share some insight into the organization, its mission, culture and business priorities. It’s even a great time to ask your connection about the position so you can assess whether it would be a good fit for you.

3. Contact a recruiter or hiring manager.

When you find your dream job and you’re ready to apply, contact recruiting or try to identify the hiring manager. Once you make that connection, remember to be enthusiastic about the position. This is a great opportunity to start the conversation and learn about the organization and its needs, as well as the position itself. And remember your personal branding messages to start sharing who you are and how you can impact the organization.

Do you have any tips or tricks to getting to the interview process? Have you successfully referred a colleague for an open position? Listen and share your tips on how to get the interview by tagging @JoinICF on Twitter.

Get in touch with the team:

T Clark | @yes_JustT

Rachelle Roberts | @CorporateHRgirl

File Under

Subscribe to get our latest insights